Sierra Planned Giving Council sponsors Leave a Legacy Week |

Sierra Planned Giving Council sponsors Leave a Legacy Week

In hopes of helping all of Truckee by educating financial planners and non-profit agencies about the benefits of charitable giving through estate planning, the Sierra Planned Giving Council is sponsoring “Leave A Legacy Week” July 8-14.

The council is a professional organization that seeks to facilitate relationships between estate-planning professionals, residents and non-profit agencies so all benefit from charitable giving through estate planning.

“The great thing about having a will is that you can take care of your heirs and help the community,” said Perry Norris, president of the Truckee Donner Land Trust. “And all non-profits in this area stand to greatly benefit from planned giving.”

“Besides supporting causes you believe in, a will provides for your loved ones and ensures your estate is administered the way you want it to be,” said Josh Susman, chairman of Leave a Legacy. “Your will can also help avoid taxes. The truth is, without planning, instead of supporting your family and local charities, you’re likely supporting the federal government.”

According to Susman, donors can use charitable gifts as tax breaks while heirs can use varying forms of donations to ease the impact of the estate and capital gains taxes.

And for non-profits, donations from estates are their bread and butter.

Norris said that while $100 donations “keep the lights on,” estate gifts, which tend to be larger, allow non-profits to actually do their work.

“We have cash flow problems. These (estate) donations allow us to focus more on our mission,” Norris said.

“Hewlett’s donation is a case in point,” Susman added, referring to the late William R. Hewlett’s $1 million gift that helped establish the Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation.

Norris and Lisa Dobey, vice president of the giving council and president of Truckee-Tahoe Community Foundation, pointed out that you don’t have to have a large estate to make a donation that makes a difference.

“You don’t have to be super rich. But give it to the community instead of the Feds,” Norris said.

Dobey said her foundation accepts appreciated stock, monetary gifts, property, “and even artwork.”

Norris, whose organization monitors conservation easements, cited a conservation easement that Stefanie Olivieri placed on her Jackass Ridge Ranch property as a form of estate giving.

Olivieri said she placed the “most restrictive easement possible” on her ranch, which comprises 80 acres and runs from Highway 89 west to Coldstream canyon.

“It doesn’t allow any development at all. No homes, no cabins, nothing,” Olivieri said. “It’s an important ridge to this community because it’s the backdrop of town … I am especially happy to know that even when I am gone it will continue to be open space.”

“That open space benefits the whole community,” Norris said.

The Town of Truckee will also proclaim next week Leave a Legacy Week at tonight’s Town Council meeting.

“Nonprofit organizations provide critical services and enhance our communities quality of life,” said Mayor Don McCormack.

The centerpiece of Leave a Legacy Week is a speech by Ralph Serpe, a Gift Planning Officer for the Community Foundations of Silicon Valley.

Serpe is a well-known expert on estate planning and has provided mentoring to non-profits and help in matching them with financial professionals.

“We’re excited and fortunate to have Mr. Serpe share his expertise with the local financial planning and not-for-profit communities,” said Eric Moen, president of the Sierra Planned Giving Council.

“We especially want to encourage non-profit organizations to take advantage of this opportunity to better understand the benefits of planned giving. With the extraordinary amount of money flowing into this area, area local financial planners and non-profit managers need to better understand the benefits of planned giving.”

“I think this is an incredibly generous community,” Dobey added. “Our next step is to encourage these same folks to include those organizations in their will so that they can continue to make a difference for generations to come.”

Serpe will speak at GarWoods on Wednesday, July 11, at 12 p.m.

The public is invited to attend.

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