giving and gratitude

The idea of making an impact on the world, in one’s community, or even within one’s own family is something that many people strive to achieve. Doing works like volunteering for a charity or giving time to family members are ways we improve our society, but what if we could continue to do good even after we are gone?

Brittney Burgett recently authored a blog post on listing 5 Ways to Leave a Legacy With Your Life Insurance. She suggested leaving money for family members or donating the money to an admired charity, but she also mentioned some more creative methods of continuous giving.

One of the items on the list was creating a college scholarship in your own name. Typically, colleges will use your donation to create an annually-awarded scholarship of around $1,000. For example, violin store owner Margie Fegley has set up a yearly scholarship to grant $2,500 to students studying music who maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or above. I have also written about the O’Briens who donated an endowment and their multi-million dollar insect collection to a university’s entomology department. The O’Brien’s legacy could be the key to understanding the insects they were passionate about. Creating a scholarship or donating to a university is a great way to preserve your values while benefiting others.

Another way to leave a lasting, positive impact on your community is to create a park or other public facility. Burgett suggested meeting with your local city council to see where the specific needs are, so that your donation will be an appreciated treasure within the community. James and Mary Jean Foye of Michigan have recently done just this, when they surprised a local library with their estate donation. The library had been in need of an update, and with their contribution, it is getting a brand new building, complete with a room dedicated to the Foyes in gratitude and memorial.

There are many ways to be creative with your estate and your legacy. If you enjoy community service or simply want to be remembered for doing something big, your estate planning might be the key.

If you have questions about estate planning or big plans in mind, and for Wills, Trust Administration, and other Estate Planning needs, contact Glenn R. Matecun by calling (517) 548-7400 in Livingston County and (586) 751-0779 in Macomb County.

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