National Estate Planning Awareness Week is a Great Time to Consider Your Legacy

Andrea Stevens, Charitable Gift Advisor

What do you think of when you hear the term “legacy?”

Maybe you think about your loved ones, or your career accomplishments. You might think about the assets you’ve acquired in your life through hard work and careful decisions. Perhaps you think of your favorite places like your church and community, or the memories and emotions you leave with those you love.

Our legacy after all, is so much more that the stuff we own and leave behind. But how do we create and express what we want our legacy to be?

National Estate Planning Awareness Week, observed from October 16 to 22 this year, is a great time to think about those big questions and begin putting them into action.

Charitable Giving and Your Estate Plan

Some people are uncomfortable thinking about what happens when they pass, but estate planning is truly an exercise in thinking about all the things that are important to you right now. What would you want the people, places, and causes you love to receive from you now or anytime?

Often, the things we really want to provide are not tangible: love, values, memories, community, comfort, security. That said, when God calls you home, you won’t be taking any of your earthly possessions with you! The stuff we accumulate throughout our lives – money, assets, property – are simply the things we leave behind and can use to express the values we hold.

Including charitable giving in your estate plan is a great way to express your values, provide support for organizations close to your heart, and help you leave more to your loved ones through cost and tax savings.

Crafting a Unique Plan

Many gift vehicles can be funded not only with cash, but also appreciated assets, retirement plans, insurance, real estate, even personal property like your grandmother’s silver or an art collection.

Often, these giving instruments are used in combination to help you achieve your goals and save on taxes. Because of the close relationship between New Covenant Trust Company and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Foundation, we’re equipped to craft a plan that is unique to you and your vision and guide you through it start to finish.

Here are just a few options to consider: 

  • Charitable bequest: Simply leave things of value to people or organizations in your will.
  • Donor-advised fund: Fund your church and other favorite causes now, and let your heirs choose later.
  • Permanent endowment fund: Ensure that your church, Presbytery, or favorite ministry will receive your support now and in perpetuity. The first endowment was created at the Presbyterian Foundation in 1821, and it is still funding ministry today!
  • Charitable remainder trust: Invest your money to pay yourself or a beneficiary right now and leave the rest to your church or favorite charity when you pass.

To discuss your estate plans and philanthropic vision, call 800-858-6127, ext. 5920, or email Charitable Gift Advisor Andrea Stevens at