Leaving Your Legacy

Planned giving is easier than you think

For nearly 100 years, the American Legion Auxiliary has stood by veterans, military, and their families, providing in times of need, supporting in times of sorrow, and celebrating in times of joy. We have witnessed those we serve respond, rebound, and reclaim a positive view of life. That’s why we are so passionate about the work we do, and why we ask you to share that passion through planned giving — the ultimate expression of Service Not Self, and our loyal gift to the ALA mission.

People of all backgrounds, education, and income levels rely on a variety of planned giving methods to provide for their loved ones as well as to support charities, such as the American Legion Auxiliary. In fact, many methods of planned giving ensure that assets – which would otherwise be subject to heavy taxation – are instead given to dear causes; this means the assets left to loved ones are taxed less. Through planned giving, donors are able to meet their current and future financial needs while providing the Auxiliary with financial support later.

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Here are some common facts and myths regarding planned giving:

Myth: It’s only for the wealthy.

Fact: You don’t need to be wealthy to have a will. No matter the size of any individual donation, collectively, every gift adds up to helping ensure the Auxiliary is here for generations to come.

Myth: Planned gifts are complicated and confusing.

Fact: Yes, some planned gifts are complex, but others are simple! There are many different planned giving options; you have to find the one that best fits you and your goals.

Myth: I’m too young to make a will.

Fact: It is never too early or too late to compose a will or estate plan. The future is impossible to predict, and unforeseen circumstances can arise. Be prepared. Plan now.

Myth: I must have a will in order to donate.

Fact: There are various ways to donate without a will, including your retirement plan and life insurance.

Myth: It costs too much money to make a will.

Fact: The average cost for a basic will is $375 which ensures your assets are distributed according to your wishes.

Philanthropy and individual gifts have been essential in shaping the history of our organization, and these contributions will have an important role in our promising future. Your actions now can have a profound impact in the life of another person.

For example, Helen Colby Small of Burlington, Wisc., was a devoted member of Ross Wilcox Unit 79. She joined the Auxiliary in 1929 and was active until her passing in 1969. With her generous gift of $106,000, she enabled the American Legion Auxiliary to establish and initially fund the American Legion Auxiliary Emergency Fund (AEF) in 1969. Because of Colby Small, the Auxiliary continues to offer grant assistance to its members.

You can change a life by including the American Legion Auxiliary in your will. No matter the size of any individual donation, collectively, every gift adds up and helps ensure the Auxiliary is here for generations to come.

If you would like to learn more about planned giving, visit www.ALAforVeterans.org/Planned-Giving.

Sections of this blog post were originally published in the May 2018 Auxiliary magazine. 


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