Planned Giving Banner

Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. What do I want to accomplish with my philanthropy?     
  2. Why do I give?
  3. What do I care about?
  4. How can I provide income for myself and someone else?
  5. What are my income objectives?
  6. What annual income do I need to live comfortably?
  7. What is my next big life change?
  8. Are my family and heirs sufficiently provided for?

ANSWERS

1. What do I want to accomplish with my philanthropy?  
Before you start planning the details of your gift, think about the results you want to achieve. Perhaps you want to provide students in need with the same educational opportunities you received. Or maybe you are interested in a particular area of legal study such as international, environmental or constitutional law.  Perhaps it is simply important to you to give back to an institution that had a profound impact on your life, or to involve your family in a charitable cause that they can nourish together for generations to come. Planned giving can help fulfill all of these objectives.

Back to Top
_______________________________________

2. Why do I give?  
Donors who provide for the Law School often do so because they are inspired by its influence on their own lives or the lives of others.

Back to Top
_______________________________________

3. What do I care about?  
When you consider your legacy, it is important to reflect on what is most important to you and what has made your own life successful. Is it the relationships you've formed? The education you've received? What values and advancements do you want to perpetuate for the next generation?

Back to Top
_______________________________________

4. How can I provide income for myself and someone else?  
As we grow older, many of us are responsible for the financial security of a spouse or even a parent. Planned giving arrangements can be designed to provide a reliable income not just for yourself, but also for a loved one.

Back to Top
_______________________________________

5. What are my income objectives?  
Perhaps you are interested in increasing your annual income. Or, maybe you are more interested in reducing taxable income. Both of these objectives can be fulfilled through a planned gift.

Back to Top
_______________________________________

6. What annual income do I need to live comfortably?   
As you consider your philanthropy, take into consideration your family's annual income needs and the principal necessary to sustain that income. This can help you determine what type of gift will make the most sense.

Back to Top
_______________________________________

7. What is my next big life change?  
Our priorities change at each stage in our lives.  When at the Law School, your priorities were most likely your studies and planning your future careers.  If you have children, the priorities shift to providing for your family and saving for college. When you enter retirement, you need to think about ensuring that you have adequate health care and a steady, secure income. Planned giving fits into many of these life stages -- consider talking with our experts about strategies that fit your circumstances.

Back to Top
_______________________________________

8. Are my family and heirs sufficiently provided for?  
This is a question to consider carefully. Some individuals feel they have adequately provided for their families already. Some do so through their wills and estates. Others have yet to think about this question.

Back to Top
_______________________________________

For more information, please contact Harvard Law School's Planned Giving staff at 617-384-9932 or plannedgiving@law.harvard.edu.

Last modified: August 16, 2013

© 2014 The President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved.