Celebrating National Estate Planning Awareness Week

The Charlevoix County Community Foundation works to make a difference close to home by connecting donors with the causes they care about most, now and in the future.  We partner with individuals, couples, families, businesses, and professionals to benefit this place we treasure.  Ethel Coeling retired to her cherished cottage in Norwood after 42 years of service as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army and then a physical therapist treating young native children on the island of Majuro in the Pacific. She began making a difference closer to home through the Community Foundation at the suggestion of her attorney, Richard E. Joseph. 

“I told her, ‘You could accomplish those goals through the Community Foundation, Ethel’,” says Mr. Joseph, who has served on the Board of Trustees of the Community Foundation.  “Ethel appreciated that a lump sum gift could be spent to great benefit, but then it would be gone.  By working through the Community Foundation, the gift would continue forever, to grow and do good things for a much longer period of time,” he explained.

And it has.  The Ethel Coeling Environmental Fund, established through a bequest from her estate in 2003, has allowed for the Community Foundation to make grants totaling more than $550,000 that have restored, preserved, and protected this beautiful corner of the world.  Three area organizations that were important to her also receive annual grants from the Ethel W. Coeling Fund so that they can continue to meet their missions for the community.  Ethel's legacy lives on when her funds support the aspects of community that she loved most during her lifetime.

Estate gifts are among the most special and impactful gifts we have the privilege of facilitating at the Community Foundation.  These gifts are evidence of donors’ trust and a demonstration of great affection for this area.  The charitable resources they provide will be transformational in their communities, benefitting residents for generations to come.

Several funds at the Community Foundation have been established at the recommendation of a tax professional and in nearly all 50 estate gifts that have been planned or received, attorneys and other professional advisors have played an essential role. As we recognize National Estate Planning Awareness Week, we’re thankful for the many highly-qualified local and regional professional advisors who have helped their clients do this good work.  Together, we’re committed to building a stronger community, now and in the future.