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October 18-24 is National Estate Planning Awareness Week, a time to call awareness to what estate planning is and why it is an important part of a personal financial plan. According to Gallop's spring 2021 poll findings, 46% of U.S. adults have a will that indicates plans for their money and estate after their death. This number has hovered at around the half mark since 1990.

The Benton County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa, encourages individuals to work with a professional advisor to create their own estate plan. The Community Foundation has a downloadable estate planning guide and other will planning resources available for free on their website at to help individuals get started.

"Establishing a will is the easiest way for individuals to ensure their wishes are fulfilled after their death," said Terry Gaumer, affiliate development director for the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa. "While many name heirs or other family members in their will, individuals can also name specific causes or organizations they care about to provide long-lasting charitable support for the community."

For example, individuals can direct a planned gift to the nonprofit organizations that best align with their charitable interests. Additionally, a bequest can be used to create an endowment fund, which will last in perpetuity, or contribute to an existing fund. Some of the benefits of establishing a bequest can include flexibility, tax savings, recognition, personalized giving and efficiency. Learn more about ways to give at

The Benton County Community Foundation works with individuals, families and businesses to create charitable solutions that match their passions, maximize tax benefits and create a philanthropic legacy for generations to come.

For questions about charitable giving through your estate plan, contact Terry Gaumer at 319-243-1354 or

More information about the Benton County Community Foundation can be found at


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