August is recognized as National Make-a-Will Month, a time that reminds us to address one of the most critical tasks in life – creating a will or trust. Preparing a will or trust not only ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes, but it also leaves behind a legacy by supporting causes that you care about.
As the Colorectal Cancer Alliance works to end colorectal cancer (CRC), we’re going to need your support to get there. One out of every 23 men and one out of every 25 women will be affected by CRC. It’s the second-deadliest cancer and the fourth most common, despite the fact that it can be easily prevented before it even begins.
Why, then, are so many people dying from this disease? Simply put, it’s because more resources are needed to continue making lasting change. No one can predict when their time on earth is finished. We can, however, make sure we continue standing for something meaningful even after we’re gone. Learn how you can make a difference, and help make colorectal cancer a thing of the past.
Why Should You Make a Will or Trust, and What Type Should You Make?
Creating a will or trust is an essential responsibility that many put off or overlook. These legal documents outline how your estate will be allocated after you pass, ensuring your family, friends, and cherished causes are supported.
In your will or trust, you can designate beneficiaries, appoint an executor to manage the distribution process, and name guardians for minor children. Still, it’s important to understand how wills and trusts differ from each other.
- Takes effect upon the testator’s death;
- Is subject to public record;
- Needs to go through a probate process (months to years long).
- Takes effect as soon as it is created, and continues beyond the grantor’s lifetime;
- Is a legal entity that holds and manages assets for designated beneficiaries;
- Is not subject to public record.
Deciding whether to move forward with a will or a trust is a personal decision that depends on a variety of factors. However, both wills and trusts are essential tools in ensuring one’s assets are distributed according to their desires.
When considering either, it’s best to speak with a legal professional for guidance and assistance. If you’re unsure of where to start, The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel has free resources on how to choose an estate planning attorney.
By having a properly drafted will or trust, you gain peace of mind knowing that your legacy will be honored and your hard-earned assets managed appropriately.
Why You Should Support the Colorectal Cancer Alliance in Your Will or Trust
Of course, there are many great causes to consider donating to in your will or trust. However, we’re certain that – with your help – we can work to end an entire disease in our lifetime.
We’re on a mission to:
- Save 100,000 lives through screening by 2029.
- Reach 750,000 patients and caregivers annually by 2024.
- Provide $30 million in CRC research by 2026.
- End colorectal cancer in our lifetime.
These aren’t just goals that get written down and forgotten about. We’re working day in and day out to meet these objectives.
We’re showing up by:
- Facilitating more than 40,000 volunteer hours per year.
- Increasing Zocdoc colonoscopy screenings by 36% just four weeks after our initial LEAD FROM BEHIND initiative.
- Leading a Health Equity Committee comprised of national experts with intention and purpose.
- Continuing to provide the best support possible to the more than 150,000 people who will get diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year alone.
Within the next five years, we plan to cut the number of people who die from this disease in half, but we can only do that with help from generous donors like yourself.
How to Support the Colorectal Cancer Alliance in Your Will or Trust
As the leading nonprofit organization committed to ending colorectal cancer, you can rest assured that your estate assets will help save countless lives. Through our work to advocate for screening, amplify support, and accelerate research, we will change the narrative on colorectal cancer, making it a disease of the past.
Leaving a charitable bequest to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance is a simple, yet powerful, way to make a lasting impact. To get this set up, you’ll want to complete the following steps:
- Consult an attorney: To ensure your will and/or trust is legally valid and reflects your intentions accurately, seek assistance from an experienced estate planning attorney. They will help you navigate the complexities of estate laws and tailor your will/trust to suit your unique circumstances.
- Identify your assets: Take stock of your assets, including property, investments, retirement accounts, and personal belongings. Decide what portion of your estate you would like to allocate for charitable purposes.
- Choose your bequest: There are different ways to include the Colorectal Cancer Alliance in your will or trust. You can leave a specific dollar amount, a percentage of your estate, or name the Alliance as a residual beneficiary, receiving what remains after your other bequests have been fulfilled.
- Use correct language: Your attorney will guide you in using the appropriate legal language to express your charitable intent. The correct phrasing is crucial to ensure your wishes are accurately executed. You may also review our Planned Giving web page that informs the various pillar options you may choose to donate to in your bequest.
- Inform others: While estate planning is a personal matter, discussing your decisions with your loved ones can help them understand your motivations and wishes. Additionally, we ask that you please fill out our revocable Planned Giving Letter of Intent document so that we can be made aware of your gift and ensure it is designated in the way that you intended.
- Keep your will updated: Life circumstances change, so it’s essential to review and update your will or trust periodically to reflect any major life events that may affect your estate planning documents.
Make Every Month National Make-a-Will Month
As we observe National Make-a-Will Month this August, let us remember the importance of estate planning every month as we work to ensure our legacy reflects our values and passions.
By including the Colorectal Cancer Alliance in your will or trust, you can help to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those affected by this disease and prevent countless others from enduring a colorectal cancer diagnosis.
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