Leaving a Legacy

I am not a baseball fan, but watch the games occasionally.  April marks the opening of baseball season, the season of the great American past-time; a season when, every few years, an average Joe can step up to the
plate and make himself a national hero. One of the most famous of those heroes is George Herman “Babe” Ruth, the boy from an institution for underprivileged boys who grew to become one of the most recognizable names in American history.

Babe Ruth was not only a titan of baseball, but a generous and giving man as well. One year before he died, Babe Ruth established the Babe Ruth Foundation for destitute children. Upon his death, in addition to providing for his wife and daughters, the Babe left a sizeable chunk of his estate to his foundation through his estate plan.

Babe Ruth was certainly not the first to make a charitable donation through his estate plan, and he certainly wasn’t the last. Charitable bequests through wills and trusts are a common occurrence in estate planning, not only for altruistic reasons, but also because of the tax benefits that can come with leaving part of your estate to a non-profit organization.

There are some who fear that the estate tax repeal due to happen in 2010 will result in a decline in this type of posthumous giving. Without the tax incentive, will wealthy people feel quite as generous when making their estate plan?

If you have a charity or non-profit organization that is close to your heart, and to which you donate regularly now, why not provide for it in your estate plan? There’s a peace that comes from knowing that you are leaving a legacy not only for your family, but also for the cause that is closest to your heart.