While many Iowans routinely donate money to charity, a movement is underway to get more people to also donate to charity in their wills. Sister Cathy Katoski is board president of “Leave a Legacy Iowa,” a public awareness initiative that works to boost the number and amount of charitable estate gifts. A large percentage of people donate to charity while they’re alive, but Katoski says those donations often die with the person. When those charities are remembered in a person’s will though, the donations can live on. She says the simple act has the ability to help fight disease, inspire at-risk youth, sustain cultural organizations, provide meals to senior citizens and preserve our environment. Someone may not want to leave a dollar figure to charity in their wills, since they don’t know exactly what they’ll be worth when they’re gone, so Katoski suggests leaving a percentage of your estate to charity instead. She says the reward of giving is shared with the generations that follow. That old adage about the only sure things being death and taxes applies here. Katoski says even after we die, taxes often apply to our estates, and charitable giving in our wills can help lower that tax burden. Parts of your estate, like double-H bonds, commercial annuities, retirement plans and e-bonds, on which the state may take a tax bite. The more money donated to charity in the will, a smaller chunk will go toward taxes. For more information, surf to “www.leavealegacyiowa.org”.
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