What do we leave behind? Advancement Foundation's 'Legacy' presentations can help answer that

North Texas Catholic
(Feb 20, 2018) Local

Build Your Legacy

A "Build Your Legacy" participant selects which cards are most meaningful to her during an exercise to help prioritize values. (NTC photo/Juan Guajardo)

FORT WORTH — A love of travel. A pie recipe. A favorite joke. The value of hard work.

When we pass away, what do we leave for those we love? What do we treasure and want to give others?

The Advancement Foundation supporting the Diocese of Fort Worth has introduced a presentation, “Building Your Legacy.” The gathering begins with a game designed to help identify what you value and to prompt conversations with a spouse and family about what you would like to leave behind.

The short presentation is a chance to pause and reflect on what we treasure.

Joe Arredondo of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Fort Worth said the game helped him clarify and articulate what is most important to him. “I’ve never talked like this before,” he said during a Legacy presentation late last year.

Nancy and George Carefoot of St. Bartholomew Parish in Fort Worth called the exercise “eye-opening” and said it opened different possibilities for the couple as they enter the early stages of estate planning.

When it comes to financial assets, planning to meet the needs of you and your family is paramount, according to Renée Underwood, associate director of the Advancement Foundation. After those needs are satisfied, many worthy charities compete for donations, but “you are more likely to be fulfilled if you are intentional about your giving, if the organizations reflect your values.”

A telling indicator is to look at where you have volunteered your time, she added.

The Advancement Foundation can assist in estate planning by connecting individuals with qualified financial advisors and lawyers who share similar values.

Underwood said if an individual makes a provision for a parish, a ministry, or the diocese in their will, the Advancement Foundation would like to be notified in advance. “We don’t need to know the amount, but we can help identify what is most important to you and make a purposeful decision about how to direct the funds.” She said seminarian education, priest retirement, Catholic Charities, or a specific Catholic school are among many beneficiaries often considered.

Another benefit to informing the Advancement Foundation about your intent is membership in the Legacy Society. The diocese expresses its appreciation to Legacy Society members with an annual luncheon.

Planned giving requires “discernment, prayer, and wise counsel that you trust,” said Underwood. “It’s a different kind of giving than when you are caught up by a natural disaster or a bucket challenge.” Instead, she explained, you are planting a seed to advance your faith and the work of the Church for future generations.

The next “Building Your Legacy” presentation is scheduled for Thursday Feb. 22 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Keller. A light lunch will be provided and there is no charge to attend. To RSVP, contact Elizabeth Becker at [email protected] or at 817-945-9443.

More information on planned giving can be found at advancementfoundation.org.

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