A Resource for You and Your Clients
By Joshua P. Weidemann, J.D.
O’Connor & Thomas P.C.
As an estate planning attorney, I have the opportunity to work with clients at many different life stages to assist them with planning their legacies. At O'Connor & Thomas P.C., we are so fortunate that many of our clients want to ensure that, even after they are gone, they can continue supporting the community causes that are important to them through their estate plans or other financial gifts.
When it comes to helping clients navigate the charitable giving process and plan their future impact on our community, I’ve found the Community Foundation to be a tremendous resource. Their staff members have knowledge of charitable giving that I can leverage and help our clients make plans that work for them and their families. From my earliest days in practice, I was blessed to be able to work with the team at the Community Foundation to obtain information about charitable giving, endowments, and estate planning for those with charitable intentions, so that I could advise our clients regarding various charitable giving options.
In addition to lifetime planning, I also have the opportunity to assist families or professional fiduciaries with administering an estate or trust for a loved one or client after their death. For example, I recently worked with a local bank to administer a trust for a Dubuque resident who had a passion for and desire to support youth hockey programs in our community. Although she had originally directed her assets be used to establish a private foundation benefitting youth hockey, the ongoing costs and administrative burdens associated with establishing a private foundation would have caused the value of the fund to decline over time.
Instead, I drew on my experience working with the Community Foundation to recommend an alternative: a permanently endowed donor-advised fund managed by the Foundation. As an endowment, all gifts to the fund would be invested and grow in perpetuity, paying out a percentage annually. Each year, grants in her name would pay out to support local youth hockey, allowing her intentions to be fully realized in a cost-efficient way and for her memory to live on forever.
After making my recommendation and obtaining appropriate approvals from various interested parties, I’m happy to say that a new donor-advised fund benefitting youth hockey is now being administered by the Community Foundation. I’m grateful that the Foundation is available as a resource for professional advisors like me and to residents of our entire community. Their support leads to rewarding outcomes for our clients and our entire community.
Are you an estate planning attorney, wealth manager or other professional advisor? Reach out to talk with us about how we can serve as a resource for you!