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If you are a member of an Active member of a Rotary chapter, chances are you are a very active member of your community. You have not only seen how being a part of a group of like-minded, service oriented, Rotarians can be a wonderful blessing to yourself, but also helps to build a stronger local and global community that everyone is welcome in. From nearly eradicating polio, to supporting schools in Africa and South America, to providing dictionaries to local elementary school, Rotarian’s put there 3 T’s (time, treasure, and most importantly talent) into making sure that our organization does more then just lip service to our motto “Service Above Self.” Today though, we are going to talk about that second T, treasure, and how you can use yours to make sure the Rotary motto is making the world a better place long into the future. Over your lifetime, if your anything like most Rotarians, despite the quarterly dues and constant fundraisers, you have managed to save up a decent trove of treasure (or as most Estate Planning Lawyers like to call it, wealth.) This article will discuss some of the ways in which you can create an estate plan to use that treasure, both during your lifetime, and after you have passed away, to support Rotarians and their efforts in your local and global community for generations to come.

One method of accomplishing this goal is through something called a planned legacy gift in your estate plan. Gifts from generations of Rotarians (and non-Rotarians) provide ongoing support to Rotary programs and are creating a world of good long after their lifetimes. This tool allows Rotarians to not only take advantage of financial and tax benefits, but to earn recognition by the Rotary at various levels and create a lasting legacy.

Common Ways to Leave a Rotary Legacy in your Estate Plan

The most common way to leave a gift is to create an estate plan which includes provisions or benefits to the Rotary Foundation, or your Local Rotary chapter. Here are a few of the ways that can be done:

Estate Planning Legacy Gift Concerns

Many Rotarians worry about leaving a legacy gift to the Rotary. This can happen for any number of reasons, including. But by looking for an estate planning lawyer who has a firm understanding of the various tools and methods available, your personal and family goals with your estate, and your desire to leave a lasting Rotary legacy, you can put many of those concerns at ease. Here are a few of the more common issues that arise when Rotarians are sitting down with their estate planning professional:

Can I become a Paul Harris Society Member? What about my family and other loved ones?

Most Rotarians want to ensure that they have made it into the elite club, the one that not just everyone can be a member of. Paul Harris once said, “Perhaps dreaming is not so bad if one dreams good dreams and makes them come true.” Rotarians make dreams a reality through extraordinary projects and activities both in your local community and around the world. The Rotary Foundation recognizes those individuals who contribute US$1,000 or more annually to the Annual Fund, PolioPlus, or approved Foundation grants by inducting them into the Paul Harris Society, but is this really the only way to be a Paul Harris Society member?

Estate appointment RotaryThe Rotary Foundation has numerous recognitions available to those who elect to leave a gift in their estate plan. The Benefactor designation recognizes someone who informs The Rotary Foundation in writing that they have made a provision in their estate plan for The Rotary Foundation. (alternatively you can make an immediate donation of $1,000 or more to the Permanent Fund.) Benefactor recognition consists of a certificate and insignia to be worn with a Rotary pin.

The Rotary recognizes couples or individuals who have made commitments totaling US$10,000 and over to the Foundation as members of the Paul Harris Bequest Society. As a bonus, Donors may elect to receive an engraved crystal recognition piece and a Diamond Circle pin commemorating the commitment at each new recognition level. There are 6 levels to the bequest society you can attain ($10,000 to $24,999.99 – Level One, $25,000 to $49,999.99 – Level Two, $50,000 to $99,999.99 – Level Three, $100,000 to, $499,999.99 – Level Four, $500,000 to $999,999.99 – Level Five, $1,000,000 or greater – Level Six.

If your one of those blessed enough to leave a gift over $250,000.00 you will even be inducted into the Arch C. Klumph Society, names for the founder of Rotary. The Arch C. Klumph Society recognizes Donors with portraits displayed in the Arch C. Klumph Gallery at Rotary International’s World Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois. Donors also receive a certificate signed by the President of Rotary International and the Chairman of The Rotary Foundation and are invited to a special event at annual conventions.

If you want to ensure your family members achieve the Paul Harris Fellow recognition, your estate plan can accomplish this as well. By leaving the foundation a gift of $1,000.00 or more your estate be allowed to honor someone by naming them a Paul Harris Fellow. This could be a great legacy for your chapter, as you could use this method to make all your club members, Paul Harris Fellows. That’s a gift that will boost your chapters pride, ensure a lasting local rotary legacy, and provide resources for Rotarians around the world to put “Service Above Self.”

What should I do now? How do I start updating my Estate Plan?

After reading 2000 words or so on different ways you can use estate planning to your advantage when distributing your lifetimes accumulation of treasure, I am sure you’re ready to rip up your old estate plan (if you had one) and leave everything to Rotary. But before you do, I would recommend first taking some time to think. It is best not to rush into any estate changes to quickly. By carefully considering your entire situation, you will be able to determine how much you both want to contribute to the Rotary and how it is most beneficial to yourself and the foundation.

But don’t think you have to do this alone; Rotary is filled with members who also happen to be excellent estate planning attorneys. Your estate professional will help you to navigate the waters, and ensure you both understand what you want to accomplish and how you will accomplish it. An estate planning attorney who is also a Rotarian will understand the huge importance of the foundation, and often will even take care of notifying Rotary International of bequests which qualify you for recognition (Your estate attorney should always ask for your written permission first). Best of all with a Rotarian you know your going to get “Service Above Self”.

If you would like to set up a free “goal planning session” with the Author of this article, Jacob A Weil, Esq., EA The Weil Law Group would be happy to help. The Weil Law Group was founded and is managed by Jacob A Weil, Esq., EA, LCAM., a Florida Licensed Estate Planning, Business, and Tax Attorney and the current President of the Rotary Club of Oakland Park/Wilton Manors. Reach out anytime at www.WeilFl.com or by phone at 954-603-7603 to experience how The Weil Law Group puts service Above Self.

The Weil Law Group, PA

Call For A Free Consultation
(954) 546-7755