Estate Planning: One of the best ways to demonstrate caring

Addressing the sensitive topics of money, mortality, and family relationships can be challenging, especially when it involves estate planning. The hesitation to have the discussion often stems from the perceived complexity and emotional weight of making decisions regarding the distribution of assets.

Proactively organizing one’s estate is a gift to heirs, alleviating the stress and uncertainty that can accompany the loss of a loved one. It also provides an opportunity to make meaningful contributions to cherished causes within the Jewish community and beyond. By including charities such as Tidewater Jewish Foundation in estate plans through beneficiary designations, individuals can establish a philanthropic legacy that is both tax-efficient and impactful.

Estate planning represents a profound act of caring from generation to generation, embodying the principle of l’dor v’dor—ensuring the continuity of Jewish traditions and commitments to tzedakah (charity) and community support. By making planned gifts, individuals signal their dedication to the future of Jewish life and values, encouraging the next generation to uphold these ideals.

TJF can play a pivotal role in facilitating this process – guiding individuals on how their legacy can sustain the institutions, programs, and services they are passionate about.

Charlie Nusbaum, TJF’s board chair, says, “Through TJF, individuals can craft a legacy that not only supports the Jewish community today, but also lays the foundation for its prosperity in the future. Our role is vital in educating and facilitating meaningful contributions that echo the values of tzedakah across generations.”

Many choose to support their favorite charities in an estate plan through a beneficiary designation. While working with attorneys and other advisors, be sure to review the beneficiary designations on insurance policies and retirement plans. Perhaps naming a charity such as a Tidewater Jewish Foundation fund is the most tax-efficient, streamlined way to make gifts to favorite causes upon death and establish a philanthropic legacy. A bequest like this avoids estate tax and income tax on the retirement plan distributions.

Stories abound about the sad consequences of someone not having an estate plan or even having out-of-date beneficiary designations. TJF can work with donors to update the terms of donor-advised funds to assure that wishes are carried out following death, whether naming specific charities to receive distributions or naming children as successor advisors to a fund.

An estate plan allows you to demonstrate how much you care about the people in your life and your charitable passions.

Ready for a legacy conversation? Contact Naomi Limor Sedek, Tidewater Jewish Foundation president & CEO, at or 757-965-6109.