During the holidays, we often reflect on our year. It becomes a time when we make resolutions to change behaviors, make lists of places we want to go, and take stock in our lives. It’s a time to reflect on the values important to you as reflected in your actions. Your personal legacy is not only what you valued and accomplished during your lifetime, but also how you memorialize your values for future generations. Estate planning is one way that you can define your legacy.

When someone hears the term “estate planning,” the first thing that comes to mind is a will. While a will is a large part of it, estate planning is the process of caring for yourself and your assets while you are living while planning for the orderly transfer of assets to other persons or organizations, both during your lifetime and afterwards. Estate planning doesn’t just ensure who receives your assets, it also includes creating directives in case you can no longer make decisions for yourself, appointing a guardian for any minors, minimizing possible estate taxes and probate fees, providing for any special needs your loved ones might have and so much more. Estate planning can be an emotional process as you decide how best to provide for yourself and your loved ones. However, once your estate plans are in place, you will have peace of mind that your wishes will be followed without burdening your loved ones with those decisions.

Throughout your life, you demonstrate your personal values through the organizations you decide to support, whether that’s through financial contributions or donations of your time volunteering. By remembering the non-profit organizations that you support in your estate plans through a bequest in your will, you are making an enduring investment in that organization’s mission. If you are a supporter of the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA), naming the VNA & Hospice Foundation in your estate plans will provide a lasting gift that will positively impact people in need in our community.

As we come to the end of another year, we invite you to reflect not only on this past year but on your life and all you have accomplished. Think of those you love, the causes you support, and what you want the future to look like. As you think about those people and causes you hold dear, be sure you have the estate plans in place that will ensure your legacy provides for them.

If you would like to support the VNA & Hospice Foundation through a legacy gift, go to https://plannedgiving.vnatc.org/resources/bequest-language for examples of how to include us in your estate documents.

For general information about estate planning, go to https://plannedgiving.vnatc.org/plan-your-legacy/estate-planning-overview. And don’t forget to download our Estate Planning Guide!