We all leave a legacy that has nothing to do with the assets that comprise our estate. We can have absolutely nothing, no material possessions at the end of our life, and still we have a legacy. That legacy is our story and our values. Those are what we pass on to our children and grandchildren. It’s how they will remember us. It will link family members for generations to come.
What will your legacy be? Will it be one of responsibility and values? Will you have given your heirs the knowledge and ability to understand the forces that have made you? Will the story and values you leave for your grandchildren be the ones you want to guide them as they become responsible and caring adults with values and beliefs of their own?
One part of that story will be what we believe about caring for others—about philanthropy. Often the gifts we make in support of the causes and ideas we care about are quiet actions. It would seem like bragging to call attention to the good works we do. After all that’s one of the responsibilities that comes with being human—sharing our good fortune. But shouldn’t we let our young experience the motivation that guides us and the process we follow in that sharing? If we don’t tell them about it—even better involve them in it—how will they know what to do when it‘s their turn to step up and show their humanity?
There is a way to do that and strengthen the bonds with our grandchildren. We can establish a tax-deductible donor advised fund with a 501(c)(3) organization such as the iGiftFund. Using our fund, we can teach the young the value of philanthropy in a simple, tax-smart, and meaningful way. Together we and our grandchildren can determine the causes and organizations we want to support from the fund. And it’s a fund that can continue to grow and be a source of enlightenment for our grandchildren and their grandchildren even after we’re gone.
What better way to tell our story and share our values. Now there’s a legacy!