If you hear “planned giving” or “legacy giving” and think it is for people older or wealthier than you—or that it is just too confusing—check out these common myths and the truths behind them.
First, What Is Planned Giving?
Planned giving is a way to support charitable organizations, like Oxfam America, by making gifts using your estate. This could include a gift in your will, or by designating your retirement plan assets as a charitable gift. This type of support requires some planning but may offer tax benefits. Most take effect in the future as a final way to leave your legacy (and therefore do not affect today’s finances).
Myth 1: My estate has to be large to make an impact.
Truth: By including Oxfam America in your estate plan for any amount, you make a lasting impact and a tremendous difference. Your estate may be larger than you think. Non-cash assets, like insurance policies and stocks, are often a significant part of your wealth.
Myth 2: I am too young to think about making a will.
Truth: If you have a property (even a car), you have an estate. Documenting your wishes in a will is an important step at any stage of your life. A will ensures that your intentions are carried out and it can help establish a plan to receive the best tax benefits for your assets. Most importantly, if you have loved ones who depend on you, your estate plan can protect their future.
Myth 3: Estate planning is only about distributing my assets.
Truth: Yes, your assets are accounted for, but your estate is also a reflection of your values. You can use it to give to charitable causes, such as Oxfam America, and you can pass down life experiences and memories by recording your wishes.
In addition, your estate plan should describe what you would like to happen in the event you are unable to make medical decisions or take care of your finances. It is the full picture of your wishes and your life’s work.
Use Your Estate to Impact Others
If you would like to speak in confidence about your opportunities to support Oxfam America through your estate plan, please contact Tim Rogers at (617) 371-2723 or Timothy.Rogers@oxfam.org. We would be happy to talk to you at no obligation.