Covenant Health and our foundations are proud to be among the inaugural community partners of the East Tennessee LEAVE A LEGACY program. A public awareness campaign of the National Committee on Planned Giving, this program educates the public about the benefits of leaving bequests to charity through wills and estate plans.
“LEAVE A LEGACY – Make a Difference in the Lives that Follow” is the theme for this educational effort involving almost 20 area charitable organizations. The goal is simple – to let people know about ways to extend their charitable legacy in support of their favorite charities. This first-of-its-kind cooperative effort reflects the desire of Covenant Health and our foundations, as well as other charities to join together in promoting information which will ultimately lead to a better East Tennessee.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does it mean to leave a legacy?
Think of leaving a legacy as transferring your values to the next generation. By making a gift in your will to one of Covenant Health’s hospitals or programs, you can shape the future of our organization in a meaningful way while earning for yourself a special form of immortality. In this way you take care of your own lifestyle and healthcare needs while you are living and decide now how to distribute the remainder of your assets upon your passing.
Why is it important to plan my estate?
At your death, your assets will be distributed to at least two of the following three beneficiaries: your chosen heirs, the United States government, and the charitable organization(s) of your choice. If you don’t make your choices known, a significant portion of your estate could be reduced by taxes rather than directed to loved ones and your favorite charitable organization(s).
I’m not wealthy and I don’t have an “estate.” Can I still make a gift?
If you have possessions…any possessions, you have an estate. Deciding in advance how to distribute these possessions at your death is known as estate planning. You might be surprised to learn how even a modest gift from your estate can truly benefit a cause or causes that are important to you. As a wise person once said, “The smallest deed is better than the grandest intention.”
In addition, it is also wise to consult with a professional advisor (experienced CPA, attorney, or financial services representative) as they can help you fulfill your intentions. Creating or updating a will or establishing a special trust are just a few ways in which these experienced professionals can help make your wishes a reality.
If I decide to leave a legacy, what is the first step?
To get started, carefully consider each organization whose mission best reflects your personal values and beliefs. Also consider how your community and region would be affected if organizations such as Covenant Health did not exist to support the patient care needs of so many people in East Tennessee. It’s also a good idea to talk with a member of Covenant’s philanthropy staff, along with representatives of other favorite charities, to ensure the intent and purpose of your estate gift is appropriately documented so that it does what you want it to do.
What’s the best way to make a gift to charitable organizations such as Covenant Health?
There are many ways to leave a legacy. You can designate a fixed sum or a percentage of your estate in the form of a bequest to one of our foundations. You can also name a charity in your will as the beneficiary of new or existing life insurance policies, retirement plans, CDs and/or annuities.
How do I leave a gift in memory of someone or for a specific purpose?
Memorial gifts, which can be arranged in your will or through a specific trust, are a wonderful way to honor loved ones and support important causes. It’s a good idea to work with the charitable organization(s) you choose to benefit to be sure that your plans can be carried out as you intended.
Should I notify the charitable organization(s) that I’ve included them in my estate?
Certainly this is up to you as some donors prefer to remain anonymous. However, by notifying the charitable organization(s) of your intent, you allow them to express appreciation now for a gift that will be made later. Another reason to share this special news would be to discuss with Foundation staff any particular conditions or restrictions you want to attach to your gift. This provides good peace of mind knowing that you and the charitable organization are both on the same page.
How can I find out more about this topic?
If you have any questions or would like additional information on planned giving options, please contact Jeff Elliott, Covenant Health vice president of development, at (865) 531-5210 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.