They don’t have to be. There are many types of planned gifts and most are simple and affordable. You just need to find the one that fits your needs.
Planned giving is for people of all ages and economic statuses – and it doesn’t have to be difficult.
Check out these common misconceptions about planned giving:
Anyone can make a planned gift, no matter if your estate is worth $1 million or just $10. Gifts of any size make a difference for the animals at Dorchester Paws. In fact, your planned gift can have an impact on the animals for years to come.
It’s important to have a plan for the future at any age. An estate plan makes your wishes known and provides peace of mind to your loved ones.
Many people assume if they aren’t a celebrity or don’t have a million dollars, then they don’t need to estate plan. This simply isn’t true. Whether your net worth is $10.00 or $5 billion, you have an estate and should take action to protect it. Your car, your house, your retirement plan – these are all assets that you can protect for your spouse, children, pets and others in the event of a tragedy.
Without an estate plan, any of the following could occur:
- The state will be in charge of dividing up your assets, including sentimental items or family heirlooms;
- Creditors could force your family out of their home;
- The court will designate a guardian or caregiver for those under your care, including your children or pets and it might not be who you would expect;
- Charitable organizations such as Dorchester Paws will be excluded despite your spoken wishes.
Three important and affordable documents can protect you and your family, including a Last Will and Testament, a Health Care Power of Attorney and a Durable Power of Attorney.
Get started planning your estate by following these simple steps:
Determine what possessions you have and what you want to do with them. You can include family members, friends and causes you care about, such as Dorchester Paws. While determining what possessions you have, include the value of your property and financial accounts. If you are unsure about the value of your jewelry or collectibles, you can use online resources to value them or consider get them appraised.
Once you understand your assets, think carefully about who you want to take care of things if you’re incapacitate, ill or when you pass away. You might choose one person to fill multiple roles or different people based on your needs.
Here are some roles you need to consider:
Personal Representative or Executor: An executor will carry out your will for you. This person will be responsible for the proper management of your estate. He or she will need to notify all individuals of your death as well as resolve any debts you may have left behind. If you have pets or young children in the home, this person may also serve as a Guardian or you may need to name another individual for those tasks.
Health Care Agent: This person will make medical decisions for you if you’re unable to do so. It may be important that they share your medical beliefs and live in close proximity to be there in your time of need.
General Agent: This person will make financial decisions for you if you’re unable to do so. It can be a trusted family member, financial adviser or other professional. This person will have access to your financial accounts and other sensitive information. In today’s world, agents may also need to access to social media accounts, intellectual property and other intangible assets. So much of our life is online, so during your planning, consider keeping a list of your usernames, passwords and security questions to share with this individual.
Once you’ve assessed your assets and thought about your agents, it’s time to set up a meeting with an estate planning attorney. Your attorney can help you create and finalize your estate plan to ensure it holds up in court and your estate isn’t wasted on litigation over what others think you would have wanted. The attorney can also ensure that organizations you care about, such as Dorchester Paws, can receive charitable gifts you may leave behind.
Give the gift that lives in perpetuity. Leave a gift to the Dorchester Paws Endowment Fund and ensure that homeless pets in Dorchester County are well taken care of for years to come.
136 Four Paws Lane
Summerville, SC 29483
Monday – Sunday
2:30pm – 5:00pm
Serving Dorchester County, South Carolina since 1972