Charitable Gifts and Estate Planning
Sometimes, people can generate unbelievable amounts of wealth during their lifetime. Many individuals who have lots of wealth feel as though it is important to give some of what they are blessed with to others. Fortunately, it is not only a few people who have great wealth that choose to give to causes that they believe in. Anyone can give charitable gifts during their lifetime or upon the event of their death. Charitable gifts are an excellent estate planning tool that people with estates of any size can use to show their support to organizations that are dear to them.
A recent and very generous gift serves as an example of the types of things that charitable giving can accomplish. Last year, Marilyn Stokstad passed away at the age of eighty-seven. Stokstad was a distinguished professor emerita of art history at the University of Kansas, as well as a museum director and an author of world-renowned textbooks. The University, its Spencer Museum of Art, and its art history programs were clearly dear to her heart, as is evidenced by her generous financial gifts to various aspects of the University during her lifetime and after her death.
The gifts that Marilyn Stokstad bestowed upon the University of Kansas add up to over two and a quarter million dollars. The sheer amount of these contributions will clearly have quite an impact on the University, but it important that people remember that charitable giving is not restricted to people who have much to give. In fact, when universities, charities, and other organizations received smaller gifts from each of many different people, the overall effect is just as powerful. Truly, no gift is too big, and no gift is too small. An estate planning attorney can explain the various options that you might want to use to support your favorite causes both during your lifetime and after your death.
Your gifts can be as varied as you would like them to be. Marilyn Stokstad chose to dedicate her gifts to several different projects and facilities at the University. For example, she donated a specific amount of funds to the Murphy Art & Architecture Library for the purpose of acquiring art history books. She donated over two hundred and fifty thousand dollars to the Spencer Art Museum for the purpose of improving and maintaining the building, which she had also contributed to during her lifetime. She also gave money to the Museum and the Spencer Research Library for the purpose of publishing catalogs of scholarly exhibitions. Marilyn Stokstad also supported a few different scholarships and a museum directorship both during her lifetime and upon her passing.
The gifts that Marilyn Stokstad gave to the University of Kansas are examples of just a few of the ways that individuals can contribute to organizations that they care about. If you have organizations that are dear to you, why not check in with them to see what their greatest needs are, or what types of projects they are looking to fund. Once you have some ideas for the gifts you would like to make, work with your Estate Planning Attorney to work out how you will make them happen.
To learn more about how to include charitable giving in your estate plan, call McDowell Chartered today at (316) 633-4322 today with Kansas Estate Planning Attorney Thomas McDowell.