Help ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes
By Steve Okamoto, Head of JACL’s Planned Giving Effort
The recent deaths of some high-profile celebrities have prompted the focus on the inheritance disputes that sometimes follow. These events provide an important reminder for all adults as they consider planning for the future — everyone needs to have a current will or an estate plan in place to guarantee that your assets are distributed according to your wishes.
A written will is the most effective way for individuals to ensure their families are provided for and assets are distributed accordion to their wishes. Just letting your intentions known to family or friends will not help. If there is money involved, everyone may not agree on what they think you said before you were gone. The courts will decide who will make decisions for your estate if your plans are not in writing.
A family attorney can effectively help draft or update wills. But courts have approved wills on the backs of coupons or on napkins because they were written and witnessed.
Wills provide the context for the most popular form of planned gifts to the JACL: bequests. For those who are unable to make an immediate gift but would like to support the JACL in the future, bequest works particularly well.
Including a bequest in a will entails no cost to the donors, but it enables them to address their wishes and create their legacy. And, if donors change their mind, they can revoke the bequest the next time they update their wills.
For more information about planned giving, contact Steve Okamoto at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published on August 8, 2014