Legacy Circle

Posted on November 1, 2017 by Lillian Swickle

Thank you to the many of you who have already made a promise to include Temple Beth-El in your estate plans. Your generosity will strengthen Temple Beth-El for years to come.

To those of you who are still considering whether to leave a legacy gift to Temple Beth-El, or if this idea is totally new to you, let me answer some of the key questions I frequently hear when speaking to people about their legacy plans.

  1. Do I have to give the temple any money now? Answer: NO. While occasionally donors want to make a donation during their lifetime, legacy gifts are typically after-life gifts.
  2. Well then, what is the program? Answer: You work with your personal lawyer or financial planner to determine a way to include Temple Beth-El in your estate plan. If you let us know of this plan (by completing a promise form) we may qualify for grant monies.
  3. Who knows what I have decided to do in my will/estate plan? Answer: NOBODY…until after you leave this earth.
  4. I’m concerned about making a promise since I don’t know what my “final expenses” might be. Answer: Many people have the same concern. Some have decided to leave a percentage of their estate to the temple rather than a fixed sum.
  5. Is a bequest in my will the only way to leave a legacy gift? Answer: There are many ways to leave a legacy gift. Other methods include beneficiary designations, gifts of life insurance policies, charitable remainder trusts, etc. A beneficiary of a retirement policy is one of the easiest ways to establish a legacy gift.
  6. I just finished my will. Do I have to write a new one? Answer: You don’t have to re-write your will. You can add a codicil naming Temple Beth-El. Your attorney can help you accomplish this goal. Or there are attorneys within the congregation who have offered to help congregants add a codicile naming the temple to their will at low or no cost. Please contact me for more information about whom to contact.
  7. I’m too young to think about this. Answer: If you have a will or beneficiary designations, or if you have children or own a home, you’re not too young to think about what legacy you will leave the community. Consider how the organizations you have loved and supported in your lifetime can benefit beyond your lifetime. Think about the lesson of generosity you can show to your children.
  8. Whom should I speak to about this idea? Answer: The Legacy Circle committee consists of Cindy Andrews, Lou Binder, Amy Rubin and me. You can reach out to any one of us.

Lillian Swickle, Chair, Legacy Circle


Originally published in the November-December 2017 issue of the Shofar. For more, visit the Shofar archives.