Union Guides Estate Planning Process
Do you remember where you were on New Year's Eve in 1999? It may seem like we welcomed the new millennium only yesterday yet a lot has happened in these last 15 years.
For example, the United States has had three vastly different presidents; five new countries around the world have been established; the euro replaced currency in 18 countries; and at the outskirts of our galaxy, one relatively small chunk of rock lost its status as a full-fledged planet (sorry Pluto).
We have seen many changes already this century and most likely your life is vastly different as well.
Although a great deal can happen in 15 years it is pretty typical for people to go that long, or longer, without updating their estate plan. After all, thinking about one's own demise may not be the most pleasant exercise. There are a couple of ways to make the experience more enjoyable though.
- First, it is important to have a guide you can trust, leading the way to where you want to go and helping you cope with the worries along the way.
- Second, it helps to remember that creating and maintaining an estate plan is not for you, it's for the loved ones you leave behind. For example, it's for your young children who need a legal guardian; it's for your spouse who will need to continue to live without your love and companionship; and it's for charitable organizations, such as Union College, who will miss your support for their noble mission.
The Benefits of Giving Back
Jim '62 and Roxy '62 Hoehn recently went through the process of updating their estate plan and did so by seeking the help of Scot Coppock, Union College's Certified Specialist in Planned Giving (CSPG).
"We found Scot to be helpful and very knowledgeable," Jim says when describing their experience. "He made it possible for us to work with lawyers in the different states where we have our investments."
Another supporter of Union College, Barbara Pogue '50 (now deceased) updated her trust after she and Scot reviewed her plan and discovered it no longer carried out her wishes.
Pamela Emerson '84, Barbara's daughter, said "Mom didn't realize the bottom line wasn't what she wanted. By updating her trust, her wishes were carried out.
Why Right Now
It need not take 15 years for an estate plan to go out of date; in fact, it is best to review your plan every couple of years to see if it still fulfills your wishes.
Perhaps it is best to consider estate planning as an ongoing and fluid process that should be updated as circumstances in your life change, or at the very least after having a major life event.
Some examples of a good time to review your plan are:
- When getting married
- After the birth or adoption of a child or grandchild
- When a child or grandchild gets married or becomes an adult
- When a beneficiary dies
- Before getting re-married
- After a significant change to your financial situation
- When purchasing a home or other large asset
How Union Helps
The Hoehns and Barbara asked Union College to help counsel them on their estate plan because they wanted to continue to support Union after their deaths.
"Union is getting a share of our estate," Jim explains. "So we wanted to make use of the services that Union offers its supporters."
Scot is happy to help families work through the process of updating an estate plan so that it benefits family and loved ones and supports Union College and other beloved charitable organizations.
Scot followed up with the Hoehns and Barbara to ensure the plans were completed and included the appropriate professionals throughout the process—making sure the job was done right.
The Pogue family appreciated being kept informed throughout the process, and was even present when Barbara signed her new documents.
"Mom definitely wanted us to know what was happening," Pamela says. "Working through Union certainly simplified the process."
When the plan was up-to-date and the paperwork was all signed, Pamela says. "We were relieved that Mom's wishes would be carried out and that it was all taken care of."
Jim recalls his happiness at telling his children about their plans.
"It felt like the right thing," Jim says. "There are no regrets and we feel positive about including Union College in our plan."
If you would like some help updating your estate plan, please contact Ken Farrow at 402-486-2600, Ext. 2200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ken Farrow is happy to help you receive the peace of mind of an up-to-date estate plan can provide you and your loved ones.
Information contained herein was accurate at the time of posting. The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in any examples are for illustrative purposes only. References to tax rates include federal taxes only and are subject to change. State law may further impact your individual results. California residents: Annuities are subject to regulation by the State of California. Payments under such agreements, however, are not protected or otherwise guaranteed by any government agency or the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association. Oklahoma residents: A charitable gift annuity is not regulated by the Oklahoma Insurance Department and is not protected by a guaranty association affiliated with the Oklahoma Insurance Department. South Dakota residents: Charitable gift annuities are not regulated by and are not under the jurisdiction of the South Dakota Division of Insurance.