Celebrating Will Week: October 19-25

“You can give now or in the future: your Community Foundation will be ready”

Mr. William K. Steger, an attorney who lived in Bloomington, Indiana, was fond of visiting his cottage on Beaver Island. His friends and family called him Bill. He specialized in employment, insurance, and workers compensation law, so when he put together his estate plan, he engaged another attorney. He was not a donor to the Charlevoix County Community Foundation, but determined that this organization would receive a portion of an IRA upon his death. He called the Community Foundation in 2004 to learn the name of the fund established to support the Beaver Island Rural Health Center and the Community Foundation’s tax identification number. He spoke with Bob Tambellini, the Community Foundation’s president at the time, and let him know what he was planning.

Early in 2016, the Community Foundation received word from Mr. Steger’s attorney that he had passed away in the fall. Twelve years after the last contact from Mr. Steger, the Community Foundation received a contribution from his estate. During that period, Bill visited Beaver Island many times.  He knew that one day, he would make a gift that would help ensure the long-term financial stability of the Health Center, which is so vital to the well-being of Island residents.  Over those years, Bob Tambellini retired and I was hired to lead the Community Foundation. The Beaver Island Rural Health Center Endowment Fund grew thanks to gifts of all sizes and positive investment performance. Countless changes happened in the world around us, but when the communication and check arrived from the attorney, even after all that time, the Community Foundation was prepared to do exactly what Mr. Steger intended.

Since 1994, the Charlevoix County Community Foundation has partnered with many individuals, couples, families, and businesses who wish to make a difference through charitable giving. The Community Foundation is a trusted partner for future giving - or giving through your will, trust, IRA, or other element of your estate plan like Mr. Steger did.  Future giving is meaningful philanthropy anyone can do because it doesn’t impact a person’s current finances.  Community foundations are a logical partner for those who wish to leave a local legacy because of the mission to work “For Good. For Ever.” No matter how many years pass or how much changes, the Community Foundation will be prepared to honor the individual’s intent to make a difference.

We celebrate “Will Week” in October to recognize how friends and neighbors are working with their advisors and their Community Foundation to leave a lasting legacy.  Mr. Steger worked with his attorney to provide for an organization he cared about deeply. Because of his effort to reach out to the Community Foundation to share his charitable wishes, we were able to implement them with confidence and without delay when the gift arrived.

Mr. Steger chose to enrich an existing fund, but some donors have chosen to establish a new fund bearing their name to do good work in their memory.  For more examples of folks who are making a difference through future giving, click here for a digital version of the Legacy Guide or be in touch at legacy@c3f.org to request that one be mailed to you.

The Community Foundation supplements the work done by attorneys and other professional advisors when we help people formalize their charitable plans. As we celebrate “Will Week” – formally called National Estate Planning Awareness Week, we’re grateful for the many highly-qualified local and regional professional advisors who have helped their clients do this good work.  We’re committed to building a stronger community together, now and in the future.            



Chip Hansen