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Planned Giving: Myths & More

A person works on a laptop while their Siamese mix cat sits in their lap

August is National Make-a-Will month, and CAT wants to help you make the most of it.

Making a will is a powerful way to protect your loved ones (including your pets!) and to support causes that are close to your heart.

If you’re wondering why you should be thinking about your will right now, let’s debunk a few common myths that might be stopping you from making an estate plan:

1. I don’t need a will. Wills aren’t just for the rich and famous! You may not think you own much, but you likely have more property than you realize: a home, vehicle, furniture, sentimental items, and more. With a will, you can direct where these assets should go, helping to eliminate confusion and prevent conflicts. Plus, you can use your will to support your favorite charity and plan ahead for your pets.

2. It’s too early to think about my will! We hope it won’t need to be used for many years to come, but it is never too early to start estate planning. Whether you are 18 or 81, having a will can give you peace of mind that your wishes and loved ones are taken care of, no matter what.

3. I wrote my will a couple of years ago, so I’m set. Have you acquired new property? Moved states? Had children or become a grandparent? Your life and relationships can change fast — it’s important that your will reflects those changes, too. Estate attorneys recommend that you review and update your will every three to five years.

4. Estate planning is confusing and expensive. It doesn’t have to be! You might be able to use a free, online resource like that guides you through the process of creating a will in 20 minutes or less. If your estate is more complex, you may need the support of an expert. The Oregon State Bar offers an attorney referral service to help you find the right lawyer for your needs.

Already made your will?

That’s a fantastic first step. Now that you have a will, it’s important to keep it updated. This month, consider taking 15 minutes to look over your will and make sure it’s up to date with your current preferences.

You may also consider taking a few extra minutes to review and update any named beneficiaries of non-probate assets too, such as life insurance policies or retirement accounts. You can even name a nonprofit like CAT a beneficiary of these types of assets — an easy way to leave a lasting impact!

If you’d like more information about planned giving options at CAT or are already including CAT in your will, please let us know. We’d love to welcome you into the Roger H. James Legacy Society.

CAT provides this planned giving information solely for educational and general informational purposes. The information presented here does not constitute legal, tax, or investment advice. Such advice can only be obtained from a qualified tax advisor, attorney, and/or financial planner. Please consult with the appropriate professional when making your estate or financial plans.

About Cat Adoption Team

Cat Adoption Team (CAT) is the largest cat shelter in the Pacific Northwest. We offer adoption, foster care, and veterinary services to homeless cats and kittens.

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