Building a Legacy: How Your Clients’ Charitable Bequests Can Transform Their Community

Estate planning is not just about managing assets or passing on wealth; it’s also an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy that can profoundly impact the local community. One way to achieve this is through charitable bequests.

In this article, we will discuss the long-term impact of including charitable bequests in estate planning and how they can transform and uplift the community your clients care about. 

The Power of Charitable Bequests 

A charitable bequest is a gift made in a will or trust that designates a portion of one’s estate to be donated to a charitable organisation or cause upon their passing. It’s a strategic way for your clients to extend their philanthropic efforts beyond their lifetime and create a positive, lasting imprint on their local community. 

Leaving a Legacy of Generosity 

Charitable bequests are a powerful means for your clients to leave a legacy of generosity. By designating a portion of their estate to support local causes, they can ensure that their values and priorities continue to influence and benefit their community for years to come. 

1. Supporting Local Nonprofits:

Charitable bequests enable your clients to offer ongoing support to local non-profits, charities, and community organisations that are close to their hearts. These contributions can provide a lifeline of funding that allows these entities to continue their essential work. 

2. Advancing Education:

Donations directed towards local schools, scholarships, and educational institutions can empower the next generation of community leaders. The legacy of education can have a transformative impact on the community by fostering knowledge and skills.

3. Enhancing Health:

Charitable bequests to local health charities can improve access to healthcare services and promote better health outcomes for the community.

4. Empowering Cultural and Arts Endeavours:

Contributions to local cultural institutions and the arts can enrich the cultural fabric of the community, offering opportunities for artistic expression and appreciation.

5. Preserving the Environment:

Environmental causes can benefit greatly from charitable bequests, which can fund conservation efforts and help maintain the local environment for future generations.

The Long-Term Impact 

One of the most remarkable aspects of charitable bequests is their potential for long-term impact: 

1. Sustained Giving:
Charitable bequests provide a consistent source of funding that can support community organisations and projects for many years, ensuring their stability and success.
2. Multi-Generational Influence:
The legacy of your clients’ generosity can influence not only the present but also future generations. It sets an example of philanthropy for their heirs, instilling the value of giving back to the community.
3. Community Advancement:
Over time, charitable bequests can be a driving force for community development. They support initiatives that improve the quality of life, education, healthcare, and cultural richness, making the community more vibrant and resilient.

Guiding Your Clients in Charitable Bequests 

As professional advisors, you play a crucial role in helping your clients navigate the process of including charitable bequests in their estate planning. Encourage them to: 

1. Identify Their Passions:
Assist your clients in determining which local causes or organisations resonate with their values and beliefs. This can help them create a strategic plan for their bequests.
2. Seek Legal and Financial Advice:
Engage estate planning professionals and legal advisors who specialise in charitable giving. They can provide the necessary guidance and ensure that the bequest is structured correctly.
3. Communicate Their Intentions:
Encourage open communication between your clients and their beneficiaries, ensuring that their charitable intentions are understood and respected.

In conclusion, charitable bequests are not just a financial transaction; they are a means to build a lasting legacy of generosity and community support. By incorporating charitable bequests into their estate planning, your clients can make a profound and enduring difference in their local community, leaving a legacy that will continue to shape and uplift their beloved region long after they are gone. 

Emma Woods-Bolger, CEO, One Community

Emma has worked as a Philanthropy Advisor and Grantmaker for 13 years, liaising with philanthropists, advisors and charitable organisations in Kirklees and Calderdale. She has been the CEO of One Community Foundation since 2019, steering the charity to award over £1,000,000 to over 300 grantees in 2022-23.