Between the time you become an empty nester and your retirement, your financial situation may improve significantly. Not only are your expenses reduced, but you are very possibly in your peak earning years at work. This is the time to accumulate as much as possible for retirement and to develop a comprehensive estate plan that includes your philanthropic values. Indeed, this may be the first time in your life that you are able to consider a larger gift that can have a significant impact on an organization.
Dr. Hugh and Margaret Kennedy were Wisconsin natives who moved to Corpus Christi, Texas, in the 1940s. They never had children of their own, yet they inspired their families and, now, new generations of physicians, to reach for lives of meaning. The Kennedy Scholars in the School of Medicine and Public Health are a diverse and impressive group.
Every year our organization receives bequests from individuals who did not inform us in advance that they have included us in their wills. We are extremely grateful for these gifts, for they enable us to continue the work that was obviously important to the donors.
Some donors contribute to the University of Wisconsin-Madison with cash, some use appreciated securities, some use real estate. It’s rather unusual to do all three. But Dr. Joe Mnuk has an unusual story—how he wound up at the UW-Madison in the first place and how he and his wife, Julie, decided to revise their estate plans and give back.
It might be a good idea for us to take what might be dubbed the “ESAT.” The letters refer to the “EState Aptitude Test,” and it would measure our understanding of estate planning principles, a necessary precondition for ensuring that our estates are distributed as we wish without unnecessary taxes.