Karen Van De Putte, Suncoast Hospice Foundation Planned Giving Director

We plan for many things in life – vacations, retirement, major life events – yet many people are not prepared for the end of life. In fact, approximately 70% of Americans do not have an estate plan and for those that do, it is often out-of-date. It’s never too late or too early to start thinking about how to protect what you have worked hard to create. Karen Van De Putte, Suncoast Hospice Foundation planned giving director, shares a few things you need to know to prepare for the future.

Q: Retirement planning is something familiar to most people, but what is estate planning?

A: Estate planning is the process of arranging what will happen to a person’s assets after their death. Common planning tools include wills, trusts and advance directives.

Q: Why is this something everyone should think about?

A: As an end-of-life organization we too often see what can go wrong and the family disagreements that can happen when someone dies without a plan in place. Every state has statutes that determine who will inherit when there is no estate plan. These often don’t account for non-traditional circumstances such as children from a previous marriage or other family politics.

Q: Seventy percent is a high number. What is keeping people from making a plan?

A: There are two main reasons why people have not made a plan. The first is procrastination. It can seem like this big looming thing that people want to put off. The second is denial. People generally don’t want to think about end of life. We always want to believe we have more time.

Q: Planned giving is often associated with estate planning. What are the benefits of planned giving?

A: Planned giving is a way to give to a charity you care about without worrying about running out of money in the present. There are many different types of planned giving and these options can come with tax benefits for the donor. This is also a good way to protect your family’s legacy and to educate children/grandchildren about giving back to the community and what it means to be philanthropic.

Q: How can the Suncoast Hospice Foundation help with planning for the future?

A: We believe in helping people protect their legacy through education and resources. For the past 10 years we have offered estate planning seminars with a panel of experts that can answer specific and personal questions. We also offer a workbook for organizing thoughts and recording important information, which can be kept on file with your attorney and will, as well as connections to other resources to help navigate the process including a council of estate attorneys, elder attorneys and financial planners.

Plan Your Future Today

Join us and a panel of experts in retirement, estate and end-of-life planning to answer your questions and help you get started with your own planning. Give yourself the peace of mind that comes with protecting what you have worked so hard to create.

July 29 | 4 p.m.–5:30 p.m.

This meeting will be held safely and securely over Zoom.

RSVP by July 27 to receive directions on connecting to the meeting at SuncoastHospiceFoundation.org/Plan or by calling (727) 523-3417 or emailing SuncoastRSVP@empathhealth.org.