We all go through or lives collecting items and memories, or as I like to say trophies. We hang our diplomas on the wall, place our medals, pictures, and plaques on desks and shelves. The rational is simple: “I worked very hard to accomplish that” or “I am very happy and proud of that moment in my life.” Those are perhaps good and healthy habits to have during our lives. However, we may neglect to think about what will happen to those trophies once we leave this realm.
I remember the image of entering my grandparent’s apartment shortly after both my grandmother and grandfather had passed away. All their “trophies” were in boxes or in a trash bag. However, their legacy – what they lived for, their values, and their contribution to the community they loved so very much will echo on for years to come.
How you live and who you touch during your life will continue on. For that reason I believe we all should focus on our legacy and understand that our trophies are temporary. Perhaps that is the reason I chose my career in trust management and estate management services. At Sabal Trust Company, we focus on assisting our clients to find the proper plan for their hard-worked assets and promote their legacy… And some times that involves planned giving.
Planned giving is the process of making charitable donations during an individual’s life or death as part of one’s financial or estate plan. The goal can be to simply reduce one’s tax liabilities or to foment their values and legacy after they are gone.
Planned gifts can be accomplished in several ways. One can donate outright assets such as appreciated securities or artwork, or in a more thought out plan through a Charitable Remainder Trust. Charitable Remainder Trusts are set up to provide an income stream for individuals, while they are still alive, and at the death of the donor(s), the charity receives what is left in the trust. In both situations, the tax benefit can be significant, while at the same time the act cements one’s legacy.
As we go through our lives I encourage you to stop, even if for a few moments, and think about what your values are and how you would like to be remembered. By your trophies… or your legacy?
-Andre Nacaxe, CTFA
Andre Nacaxe, CTFA, is a team member of Sabal Trust Company, and a proud author of this feature article. To learn more about planned giving and how you can leave a gift to provide affordable housing for generations to come visit our Planned Giving Page or call 352-483-0434 Ext. 133.