October. A month historically filled with the rustic colors of fall leaves and pumpkins and more recently filled with pink ribbons. The month set aside to bring attention to breast cancer in ways both noble and kitschy.
Amongst Halloween, Oktoberfest and Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a less known and less acknowledged honorific: October 19-25 is Estate Planning Awareness Week. Sure, you don’t see professional football teams all wearing special socks to raise awareness, but it is still important to note. Why? Because a lack of estate planning is getting between your donor and a gift in her will.
After multiple conversations, piles of brochures and illustrations and countless cups of coffee, planned gift officers frequently find ourselves at a loss for what else we can do to help our donors move forward with the legacy they really want to create.
Why? Because it’s scary. It’s daunting. It’s costly in both money and time. Estate planning brings up thoughts of death, family disagreements, money or the lack of.
Here are some ways you can use Estate Planning Awareness Week to help your donors move past these obstacles:
- Call them. Use this week to call your donors who have been putting off this task. Tell them about the week and point out some local resources that may help them get started.
- Share helpful articles. Check news sources and your local estate planning council for articles or checklists that can help make the estate planning process less daunting for your donors.
- Practice what you preach. Review your own estate plans. If you have one, check to see if it is in need of updating. If you don’t have one, call an attorney and set an appointment. Going through the process yourself will remind you of what your donors are going through and will give you credibility when you tell them how easy it can be.
If Estate Planning Awareness Week can encourage just a few of your donors to finally update their plans, you could be welcoming some new members to your legacy society by the end of the year. And that’s worth celebrating with some candy corn and a pink ribbon, or any other color of your choice.
- Posted by Meg Roberts, CFRE @ImpactMeg