Client conversations:

Building better together

The relationship between estate planning attorneys and their clients is built on a foundation of trust, collaboration and a shared commitment to ensuring that the client’s wishes are carried out effectively. By working together to create a comprehensive estate plan, clients can leave a legacy that reflects their values and benefits their loved ones for generations to come.

Often, clients wish to support the community or certain charitable causes after their deaths but may not know how best to make their wishes a reality. Making deferred gifts to the Kalamazoo Community Foundation can be a smart and effective way for clients to support charitable causes and benefit the community.

KZCF has been a valuable partner when my clients needed further guidance with their deferred giving plans.

Scenario 1: Clients want to support a certain cause or interest but don’t know which charity is best.

Some of my clients knew that they wanted to support a specific cause in Kalamazoo and had a small local charity in mind, but their first question to me was, “How will we be sure that this charity will be the best choice or exist in 20 years?”

The Donor Relations team at KZCF listened to my clients’ philanthropic goals, eased their concerns and helped them find the best way to support the causes they care about. In this circumstance, the clients chose to support a Feld of Interest Fund with the foundation. Decades from now, the expert team at KZCF will continue to distribute funds in a way that aligns with my clients’ values. Meanwhile, the clients no longer have the burden of reexamining individual charities or making changes to their estate plans if named organizations dissolve.

Scenario 2: Clients want to support the Kalamazoo community but don’t know how.

Some of my clients wished to leave their entire estates to charity. We held multiple planning discussions centered around deferred giving, but they could not make up their minds about what specific organizations they wanted to support. However, the clients agreed that they wanted their legacy to remain local to Kalamazoo.

My clients were reassured by the KZCF’s deep roots in the local community and its understanding of the area's needs and priorities. Ultimately, my clients chose to rely on KZCF’s expertise and named the KZCF General Fund in their estate plan.

Scenario 3: Clients want to avoid taxes but don’t have specific charitable intent.

One of my high-net-worth clients expressed the primary intention of avoiding estate tax at death and minimizing tax burdens for the estate. In collaboration with KZCF, we advised the client that deferred gifts can be made in a variety of ways, including through charitable trusts, charitable gift annuities and bequests. The client was able to tailor their giving to their specific goals and circumstances while still ensuring that their assets were being used effectively to benefit the community.

KZCF is a valuable resource when clients have charitable intent but need guidance on how best to leave a legacy that aligns with their values and goals.