Your will is a testimony to your values and commitments. It expresses your core beliefs, and is shaped by how you choose to invest your time, energies and resources. Wills can be gratifying; they show how you've touched the world in constructive, caring ways.
It can be a joyful experience to give gifts to those we love. When writing your will, you may think first of your family or perhaps a lifelong friend. Yet institutions, too, play a large part in our lives; a bequest to the JCCSF will enable it to serve others as it has served you.
How Much to Give
Think first of those persons who need or deserve your support. Your spouse or partner may be included here, but much of your property is already co-owned by your spouse and will pass to him or her at your death. First focus on what portion, if any, should also be designated for your spouse's lifetime needs.
Even if you don't know what the exact total of your assets and other possessions will be at the time of your death, you may know enough to place monetary value on the most important gifts; other gifts can be contingent upon the total available or designated as shares of the residue after monetary gifts and estate costs are covered.
Other individuals for whom you wish to provide some measure of lifetime support through your will may include relatives who require financial security, longtime friends, companions or housemates.
The institutions and causes you wish to support by bequest may be included either for specific dollar amounts or fractional shares of your estate or its residue. You may wish to limit the number of charitable beneficiaries, ensuring each gift will be of meaningful value relative to the size of your estate and the nature of the recipient organization.
Wills & Children
The most treasured gifts our children receive are often not expensive, but always reflect who we are. The same should be true of the legacy gifts we give to our children. (Our bequests to our children need not be identical, so long as they reflect our sense of fairness and the equality of our love.) The dollars we leave to the institutions and causes we believe in may also be gifts to our children, making better the world in which they live and reminding them, by our example, of what you cherish most.
It is important that you have confidence in your personal representative and that individual be able and willing to serve. You can choose your spouse, a relative or a trusted friend or advisor. You can also choose an institution, such as a bank, that may have more expertise and neutrality.
Your will is more than a legal document; it is a testimony to your life, to what you find meaningful, and to what you treasure. Include the JCCSF in your will, and help us continue to create meaningful experiences for our community, for generations to come.