Did you know that 72 percent of American adults aged 45 to 59 (and 37 percent of those 60 and older) do not have a will, according to a Consumer reports 2022 Survey? It’s a sad reality. Making a will protects your loved ones in the event of your passing; while it might not be the most pleasant topic to consider, it is an important one. It’s National Will Month, which is a good reminder to update or create your end-of-life plan.  

Even if you already have a will, it is important to periodically check in on it. This can be as simple as updating your will, or establishing a legacy gift, which is one of the most powerful ways you can support the organizations you care about. The Atlanta Jewish Foundation can help you update your will and achieve your goals for legacy giving—both to Jewish and non-Jewish organizations. 

You might think wills are only for the wealthy, but that isn’t the case. A proper end-of-life plan can ease your family through a difficult transition and ensure that your assets are properly disbursed.  

You may already have a will as part of your estate plan. However, simply having a one isn’t enough. There may have been changes in your family situation since your will was drafted, along with changes to local or state laws.  

Here is a simple checklist to make sure your will reflects your wishes: 

  • You drew your will up before 2001. The amount you can leave your heirs without paying federal tax has increased significantly, from $675,000 in 2001 to more than $12 million in 2022. 
  • You’ve moved to a new state where the estate tax exemption is higher. (Connecticut’s, for example, is $9.1 million) or lower (Oregon’s is $1 million). 
  • Your dependents have changed. If you got married, divorced, are now in a committed relationship, or have children who are now adults, you may need to alter your beneficiaries. 
  • Your wishes have changed. You would like to assign new beneficiaries or new people to manage your finances and medical care. 
  • You need to set a durable power of attorney (DPOA), healthcare proxy, or advance directive. These designations will give a person (or people) the power to manage your affairs if you become incapacitated due to a medical emergency.  

During National Make Will month and with the Jewish New Year around the corner, we encourage you to sit down and review your will and your beneficiary designations. Atlanta Jewish Foundation can help you ensure that your will is an impactful philanthropic document that supports the things you care about. 

Contact Ghila Sanders (gsanders@jewishatlanta.org) to learn how Atlanta Jewish Foundation can help you leave a lasting legacy.