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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Swan

What's in the Charitable Giving Toolkit?

When it comes to charitable giving, most people think that you need deep pockets to make a difference. In our office, we know that it's possible to give at many different levels and still have an impact on the community.

When you work with Swan Law, PC to make an estate plan, we offer you all the available tools to design your legacy with your favorite non-profits. Here's a peek at what we do to make charitable giving accessible to all:

5% Give Back

Our 5% Give Back program is the first step in giving back to the community. When we work with a new estate planning client, we lower our fees by 5% and ask the client to donate that 5% to a local non-profit. The donation is typically between $100 and $300, and we deliver the check in the client's name.

Over the years, we've given thousands of dollars to local non-profits with the 5% Give Back, including: the Chief Theater, Routt County Humane Society, Northwest Colorado Center for Independence, Wild Horse Warriors of Sand Wash Basin, and more.

Memorial Instructions

Your estate plan generally includes your plans for a memorial service or a funeral. Including your favorite charity or non-profit in your memorial plans is simple, so after you pass away, your loved ones will know that you prefer donations in lieu of flowers or other expressions of sympathy.

This inclusion is a minimal cost to the family, but it can be greatly beneficial to the charity, and a way to express your values even at the very end of your life.

Contingent Remainder

We know that people don't always die in the order they're born, and that's why we build a lot of layers into any estate plan. One of these added layers is to name a non-profit of your choice as a contingent remainder beneficiary. That means if all your other beneficiaries predecease you, you are still directing your funds toward a charity that has meaning to you.

When you meet with an attorney, ask about setting up your favorite non-profit as your contingent remainder beneficiary.

X Factor

You may have competing concerns about caring for yourself, providing for your loved ones, and supporting a charity you love. When this happens, we use a tool we call "x factor" to help ensure that you have fully expressed your values in your estate plan.

We create different thresholds for different scenarios in your plan, so your heirs will still be taken care of, but you can also provide for your favorite non-profit with charitable donations. This can also help with tax planning.


Finally, some people wish to create a scholarship or sponsorship, and we can assist with making sure the estate plan corresponds with plans you've made with other organizations, such as the Yampa Valley Community Foundation. We work with estates of all sizes to make plans that benefit the community into the future.

It's so important that your estate plan aligns perfectly with other plans that you have made in order to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. This is why you need a professional estate plan if you plan to leave a lasting legacy.

If you still need to make a plan, call 970-879-1572 or email

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