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October is National Financial Planning Month and National Estate Planning Awareness Week is October 17-23, calling attention to what estate planning is and why it is an important component of a personal financial plan. Less than half of U.S. adults have a will that indicates plans for their money and estate after their death, according to a survey conducted by Gallop in 2021. 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 and financial plan.

"While creating a will can feel overwhelming, it is a fairly simple process that ensures an individual's wishes are fulfilled after they are gone," said Terry Gaumer, affiliate development director for the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa. "In addition to naming family or heirs in a will, individuals can also name specific causes or organizations they care about to provide long-lasting charitable support for the community."

The Community Foundation has will planning tips available on their website at to help individuals get started. Community Foundation staff are also knowledgeable about charitable planning and can assist individuals in creating a personal plan for their will.

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.

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

The Benton County Community Foundation is a local organization making grant investments to organizations that create a stronger and more vibrant quality of life in Benton County and helps people establish permanent funds for the causes they care about in their community. The Benton County Community Foundation is an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa, a nonprofit committed to creating long-term impact in 20 counties in Iowa. For more information, contact 319-287-9106 or visit CFNEIA is confirmed in compliance with National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations.

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