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Creating a Legacy

By Sandra Crawford & Corinne Heggie

The benefits and beneficiaries of planned giving.

THE ILLINOIS BAR FOUNDATION (IBF) is the charitable arm of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA). Most of the work performed by the IBF is through the volunteer efforts of its Board of Directors, the committees empowered by the board, and IBF Champions (formerly known as IBF Fellows). In this month’s column and in the coming editions I would like to introduce the readers to some of the IBF’s committees and Champions.

The following article was penned by attorney Corinne Heggie, a member of our Planned Giving Committee. Planned giving—sometimes referred to as gift planning—can provide tremendous opportunities to transform lives for future generations. From lifetime gifts that offer a tax benefit to testimentary gifts that leave a legacy and provide stability for the future, planned gifts come in many forms. Year-end is often the optimum time for donors to consider these types of gifts and the IBF would be honored to be considered in your future plans. All gifts made to the IBF help fulfill our mission to ensure meaningful access to the justice system— especially for those with limited means—and to assist lawyers who can no longer care for themselves due to incapacity. Thank you to Corinne for the following contribution, her volunteer work on behalf of the IBF, and her insight into IBF’s Planned Giving Committee.

IBF Planned Giving By Corinne Heggie An author in a podcast I listened to recently likened his son to a Buddhist. The analogy stuck with me though I am not a Buddhist. My knowledge of Buddhism begins and ends in 1996 at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s Foellinger Auditorium in World Religions 101. Nevertheless, I will opine that my youngest son may too be a Buddhist.

My son is a conflict-free and perhaps conflict- proof person. This child has no conflict with teachers, coaches, teammates, or classmates. When needed, he can pivot quickly to provide a compromise or “Plan B” to diffuse impasse or fisticuffs, the latter most often when his two older brothers are involved. I find this remarkable. It is a quality I attribute to one of his greatest character traits, an open mind. My son is just 11 years old. In his life, fissures of conflict will abound. My hope is that his open mind will remain his compass and eventually his legacy.

An open mind is crucial when you think about your legacy. I think about it often in my law practice and as a member of the IBF’s Planned Giving Committee. Please know that legacy planning is not just for lawyers nearing retirement. It is for every lawyer, especially lawyers who have worked with, benefitted from, or been touched by the ISBA or IBF.

Planned giving is an important way the IBF can fulfill its two-fold mission of ensuring meaningful access to justice to those living in the margins and assisting colleagues and their families when they can no longer support themselves. The Lincoln Legacy Society is the IBF’s premier planned-giving initiative.

The Lincoln Legacy Society was conceived to honor and recognize individuals who have agreed to support the IBF’s vision to be the statewide leader in advancing justice in Illinois through gifts to the IBF in his or her estate plan. Just as Abraham Lincoln, the initiative’s namesake and arguably Illinois’ most famous lawyer, left an indelible mark on the Illinois legal system, so too do Lincoln Legacy Society members with their legacy gifts to the IBF.

Three types of planned gifts make a donor a Lincoln Legacy Society candidate: testamentary gifts, split-interest gifts, and lifetime gifts. To be sure, lawyers contemplating split-interest or testamentary gifts should consult with a professional familiar with charitable giving. However, by joining the Lincoln Legacy Society, know you are allowing the IBF to continue to fund its mission for years to come.

Under President Sandra Crawford’s leadership, the IBF and its team have put fresh eyes and ideas into the Lincoln Legacy initiative. I invite you to visit our planned giving webpage and watch for social media initiatives educating lawyers on the Lincoln Legacy Society and the power of planned giving. These initiatives will ensure the IBF’s legacy continues now and for future generations of Illinois lawyers and the marginalized who depend on IBF giving.

SANDRA CRAWFORD is the 2022- 2023 IBF president and owner of Chicago-based Law Crawford, P.C.

CORINNE HEGGIE is a member of the Illinois Bar Foundation’s Planned Giving Committee and partner at Heggie Wochner Law Firm LLC in Northbrook.

Reprinted with permission of the Illinois Bar Journal, Vol. 110 #11, November 2022. Copyright by the Illinois State Bar Association.


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