Planned giving: Generosity that lives on

UBT’s Michael Henkenius offers insight on planned giving and how you can leave a lasting impact.

March 01, 2022
An elderly couple sitting on the couch and playing wiht a black lab

Most of us want to be remembered, to make a difference in the world, and to leave it a little bit better. Many of you reading this are generous supporters of charitable organizations that you care about and that have made a positive impact on your life. We’ve all been positively impacted by the churches we attend, the schools we went to, or the schools our children attended. Our lives have been enriched by local music and performing arts organizations. We’ve been served and often healed by hospitals and other medical organizations. We’ve all been touched by one or more organizations during our lives that have a charitable arm or supporting nonprofit, and we’re grateful.

While many of us show gratitude by supporting our favorite charities while we’re alive, we don’t always consider remembering them at the end of our lives through our will, trust, or other part of our estate plan. I encourage you to consider making “planned giving” (also called gift planning or legacy giving) a part of your estate plan, making a gift that extends well beyond your lifetime. 

The term “planned giving” is a broad term that refers to making a non-cash type gift through your estate plan. Examples of planned giving could be:

  • A gift in your will or trust
  • Naming a charity as a beneficiary of your IRA, 401(k), or other retirement plan
  • Naming a charity as a beneficiary of your life insurance policy
  • Setting up a charitable trust

The most common planned gift is a gift in your will. For example, you can name your favorite charity as a beneficiary of 10% of your estate in your will. Beneficiary designations are another popular way to make a planned gift. Let’s say you own an IRA. You simply contact your plan administrator, ask for a beneficiary form, and complete it to name a charity as a percentage of the IRA. You don’t need to disinherit family members; you can just add your favorite charity (or multiple charities) as one of your beneficiaries.

A planned gift can have a tremendous impact on your favorite charitable organizations. When I work with our clients and advise them on their estate plan, I let them know that making a planned gift is easily the biggest gift they’ll ever make and the most impactful. What gives them great satisfaction is that they use their will and estate plan to show their family and their community what was important to them during their life. It can be a teaching moment to their kids. It’s a chance to leave a legacy and become forever remembered by those organizations.

I encourage you to contact your favorite charitable organization to talk to them about planned giving. Or feel free to contact the UBT Personal Trust and Wealth Management group. We’re happy to discuss the best way to leave a legacy and be remembered for making a lasting impact on those charitable organizations you love.

Michael Henkenius, CTFA, Assistant Vice President & Trust Officer at UBT can be reached at 402.323.1274 or

  • Personal
  • Estate Planning
  • Charitable Gift Planning

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