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A financial planner can help you evaluate which type of planned gift or gifts will help you achieve your financial objectives, and support the non-profit organization/s you care about. The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts also offers many valuable resources for donors and can be reached at or 413-732-2858.

Contact your life insurance agent or the financial institution where your IRA is invested.

A change in your will is often required when you experience changes in your personal or financial situation, such as marriage, divorce, birth of a child, death of a spouse, a new business, purchase of a new home, retirement, and/or a desire to make charitable gifts using your assets.

Talk to the attorney who drew up your will. If including a bequest is the only modification you are making, this can usually be accomplished by adding a codicil to the will.

You need a will if you wish to have a say in how and to whom your assets are distributed after your death. Without a will, your estate will be divided according to the laws of Massachusetts, or the state in which you reside. With a will you may be able to minimize estate taxes and provide gifts in trust for minors and/or charitable organizations.

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