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Ask Gordon

Gordon L. Nelson, CPA, CFP® is a planned giving specialist. Want to get your questions answered? Write him or call him at 435.213.9986.

April 2024

Dear Gordon,

When I hear the term “planned giving,” I immediately think it involves complex arrangements, tough decisions, and possibly the need for an attorney. The thought of navigating through what seems like a complicated and costly process makes me procrastinate and place it low on my priority list. Am I alone in this?

Procrastinating Philanthropist
Pensacola, FL

 
Dear Procrastinating,

You are not alone, your experience is very common and understandable, yet it’s based on one of the most prevalent myths surrounding planned giving. Many imagine it as a daunting task filled with difficult decisions, legal jargon, and the necessity of hiring an attorney, which can feel overwhelming and discouraging.

However, the reality of planned giving can be much simpler, especially for those new to it. While some forms of planned giving might require more in-depth planning and legal documentation, there’s a straightforward approach that doesn’t: making a gift through beneficiary designation. This method is remarkably simple and involves assets like IRAs, 401ks, life insurance policies, and annuities, which can be designated to beneficiaries with minimal effort. Here’s a step-by-step guide to this easy yet impactful form of planned giving:

  • Select an Asset: Choose an IRA, 401k, life insurance policy, or annuity you own.
  • Obtain the Form: Contact the financial institution holding your account or visit their website to get the beneficiary designation form. If you need assistance, let me know the company, and I’ll help you locate the right form.
  • Designate the Foundation: On the form, confirm your primary beneficiary is updated, and then add the Foundation as a contingent beneficiary for a percentage you’re comfortable with. You’ll need the full name (Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida), address (PO Box 11010, Tallahassee, Fl 32303), and tax ID number (59-3277808).
  • Submit the Form: Sign the form and return it to the custodian or company.
  • Inform Us: Notify us about your gift so we can acknowledge your contribution and welcome you to the Foundation’s Legacy Society.

Read more here and reach out if you have any questions. You’ll find that making a meaningful impact through planned giving can be simpler than you think.

Warm regards,
Gordon

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Ask Gordon

Gordon L. Nelson, CPA, CFP® is a planned giving specialist. Want to get your questions answered? Write him or call him

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