National Estate Planning Awareness Week: 3 Reasons to Celebrate

Posted by kturner on Oct 21, 2020 12:46:26 PM

This year, October 19 through October 25 is National Estate Planning Awareness Week. If you are thinking, is that a real thing - you are not alone. Here’s something else to know – since 2008, every third week in October has been designated for this occasion. So go ahead and put the week on your calendar for next year too. The information below will shed additional light on the topic:

1. The History of National Estate Planning Awareness Week

According to the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils website, National Estate Planning Awareness Week was adopted in 2008 to help the public understand what estate planning is and why it is such a vital component of financial wellness. Assisted by Rep. Mike Thompson and 49 additional members of the House of Representatives, House Resolution1499 named National Estate Planning Awareness Week on September 27, 2008. 

House Resolution 1499 contains many statements, including this significant one: Whereas careful estate planning can greatly assist Americans in preserving assets built over a lifetime for the benefit of family, heirs, or charities. Read a full copy of the resolution text


2. Estate Planning is Important

When it comes to estate planning - seek out good advice to understand the options and potential pitfalls.

More than half of all Americans die without a will. When this happens, assets are distributed according to the state laws where the deceased lived at the time of his or her death. When you first think about planning for the future, it may seem daunting to draft these documents, until you realize all the good that comes from having them.

Beneficiary designations offer built-in peace of mind. Your current budget isn’t affected because you make the gift after your lifetime, and you can change your mind at any time. Just as you can name multiple people in your will, you can also name multiple charitable organizations as beneficiaries of your retirement account or life insurance policy. This gives you the flexibility to provide for the important causes in your life in the proportions you desire.

Working with advisors who understand planning opportunities that are appropriate for an individual’s particular situation is the key to success. Advisors can help clients avoid potential problems they may or may not be aware of.


3. National Estate Planning Awareness Week Activities

Nonprofits - ranging from universities, hospitals, humanitarian organizations, and art/cultural institutions, are all finding ways to engage staff, donors and supporters in the festivities of the week.

On a recent autumn morning, a conversation on a virtual coffee break hosted by a local planned giving council, quickly turned to talk of National Estate Planning Awareness Week. Many in attendance had a baffled look. They didn’t know about the week – or seemed puzzled as to how it was of interest to the lively chatter they had been engaged in.

Then they heard from a university planned giving representative who happened to be in attendance. The representative shared his organization’s plans for National Estate Planning Awareness Week, which include a full day of activities. They have a virtual seminar planned where - speakers will share information on life insurance, estate planning (e.g., wills, trusts, powers of attorney), and other related items. Wow-what a great way to embrace the week!

Many organizations are taking this opportunity to inform donors of National Estate Planning Awareness Week via newsletters, sending brochures, and making calls. How will your organization celebrate National Estate Planning Awareness Week?


Aquanetta Betts, JD, Sr. Exec. Dir. Planned Giving – East, World Vision US
Renee Brida, JD, Sr. Exec. Dir. Planned Giving – West, World Vision US
Michael Smith, JD, Sr. Exec. Dir. Planned Giving – Central, World Vision US


Topics: News