JAVS Summer 2023

Development Corner

Let's Talk About Legacy: The Young Professional by Tom Tatton

The question is: What kind of legacy will you leave that is meaningful to you? This is a huge topic, and one many people tend to avoid. One legal and popular instrument to facilitate a legacy is a will; however, according to one study, six out of ten adults who should have a will, don’t! Avoiding this question is most often the case with young professionals. Creating a will is simply not on their mind! The conversation, if it even comes up, goes something like this: “ I’m just out of the conservatory, I have a good job but don’t have much money, I’m not married, and I don’t have any dependents. Why do I need to think about my legacy now?” 1 Even if the above is true, we think you probably have an instrument—or instruments —that you care about. If the instrument(s) is of any value, it ought to be insured. 2 If it is valuable enough to have insured, what will happen to your instrument(s) if the unthinkable happens? Would you like to have it go to your Alma Mater? Have you thought about donating your viola to the AVS Viola Bank? 3 Perhaps you have something else in mind. We hope we can agree that: Your choice is meaningful to you and your choice could make a big difference to someone! The point is: if you do not have a will, someone other than you will make that choice. In this will, you can direct who will receive your instrument(s) and any other assets that you may have accumulated—sheet music, strings, bows, cases, CDs…the list goes on! The good news is there are legal and very inexpensive wills available that will make clear your wishes. At this point in your career you (probably) don’t need something involving a lawyer (and thus be more complex and expensive). There are perfectly legal inexpensive wills

available online. A quick search will bring up Legal Zoom, Quicken Will Maker, and many others that are available for well under $100. Many of these companies, including the ones mentioned, have a suite of services that will allow you access to a lawyer if needed and change or upgrade your will as your circumstances change. You will need the signature of two witnesses to attest to your sound mind when you sign the will using the services of a notary public—also not expensive. All this is explained in the information from the company you engage to create your will. For peace of mind and to support the interests you care about, check into getting a will. One more thought: you are approaching the age when older relatives, grandparents, great uncles, and great aunts begin to pass away. We’re sure that your relatives support ed your training, from your very early first efforts to your conservatory graduation recital. Many people, when it is time, ask that, in lieu of flowers, a donation be made to a particular charity or institution. One way to perpetuate the memory of the loved ones who supported your musi cal efforts is to print in the appropriate publications: “In lieu of flowers a donation may be made to American Viola Society in his/her memory .” 4 The AVS is committed to creating a deeper, more meaningful relationship with America’s violists. We hope you keep the AVS in mind, all through your life’s journey. We will discuss options and opportunities when you are a bit more established, perhaps have a significant other and maybe some young children in the next issue of The Development Corner. This article is for educational and entertainment purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for tax advice. Please consult your tax advisor for guidance.

Journal of the American Viola Society / Vol. 39, Summer 2023 Online Issue


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