Volunteering Series: Volunteer to Leave a Legacy
Previously Published in the Pineapple Post
By Helena Kyle
Who isn’t up for a new start, a second chance? This is what I love about the New Year - an opportunity to move forward with lessons learned. What’s on your bucket list? Are you taking steps to accomplish goals, dreams, or resolutions? I cannot believe the number of times I hear acquaintances talk of the places they want to travel to, classes they would like to take, but haven’t taken the steps to get there. Or, the comment that sounds like fingernails running down the chalkboard to me, how they could fulfill their dreams if they win the lotto – really?
In real life, to make dreams a reality, the way to get to where you want to go, is to aim for it – make a plan, work toward it, and save for it. The same goes for leaving a legacy. Your legacy could be a financial investment or in quality of life, benefiting your loved ones, or the organization you leave it with. There is no better time than the present to volunteer to leave a legacy.
A legacy isn’t about income, age, social status, or ethnicity – it’s about making a plan for passing on what matters to you, as well as the financial wealth or material possessions you accumulate, whether massive or minimal.
3 Simple steps toward legacy planning:
1. Start with a will. If you do not think you have enough assets to warrant a will, think again; if you own a car, furniture, or any items that can be sold, it’s worthwhile to have a simple will. Legal, state-specific wills are available, for a nominal fee, online. If you have accumulated wealth and material items, make an appointment with an estate planning attorney A.S.A.P. Single or married, children or childless – every adult needs a will. Be specific in your will as to what percentages of wealth you want designated to loved ones, charity, or causes.
2. Purchase a fireproof/waterproof safety box to protect your will and important information: Social Security card, birth certificate, marriage certificate, bank/IRA/investment account numbers, insurance company information, Mortgage Company, or title. The idea of “the legacy box” is to make it easy for survivors to fulfill your wishes – carry out your plan. Label the box with your name and address, should it get misplaced by a natural disaster.
3. Build your legacy while you have the opportunity to do so – live in the now, plan for the future.
The founders, employees and volunteers of the organizations and ministries I write about for my Volunteering Series, are building a legacy of improving and enhancing quality of life for all who live along the Treasure Coast, pets and wildlife included. This New Year presents the opportunity to positively impact your loved ones, or favorite charity, by volunteering to leave a legacy.
For more information:
The Legacy Journey, by Dave Ramsey. The author writes from his faith-based perspective, but the information presented is helpful for all.