Consider Setting Up A Memorial Scholarship Fund As Part Of Your Estate Planning

Law Blog

As people age, one of the things that they frequently think about is their legacy. This term can mean different things for different people. Deciding how you'll divide your estate among your family is an important topic concerning your legacy, but you might also wish to use your money to help others. While people frequently leave requests in their wills to make donations to one or more charities, another avenue that you can explore is setting up a memorial scholarship in your name to allow underprivileged people to seek post-secondary education with money from your estate. Here are some topics to consider if this idea appeals to you.

Setting Up The Parameters

There are all sorts of approaches that you can take concerning the establishment of a scholarship that will use funds from your estate. If you attended college, it makes sense for the scholarship to be awarded to someone who applies to this college. If you only attended high school, you might set up the scholarship to provide funding for someone from your old high school to help him or her attend any college. You can have the scholarship cover tuition for the first year or for all fours years, depending on what suits you.

Making Financial Decisions

In order to set up a scholarship fund for a student from the money in your estate, you can't distribute the entirety of your wealth to your beneficiaries. You'll need to speak to your estate planning lawyer and perhaps a financial professional with whom you can discuss how much money to reserve. One approach that people take in this situation is to set a certain amount of money aside in a high-interest account that will continue to make money in order to cover students' tuition for several years. You'll also want to make this information clear in your will, as well as discuss it with your executor.

Choosing The Winner

Obviously, you'll have passed away by the time that your memorial scholarship comes into effect, so you'll need to work with your attorney to outline how the winner will be selected each year. People will often ask their families to review the applications to choose a deserving winner. The application process could include writing a letter to the family or perhaps even meeting with your family in person, as well as showing a high school transcript. Your surviving family members might enjoy going through this annual process in the years ahead because it reminds them of your generosity.



28 November 2018