May, 2015: Leave a Legacy Month

WHEREAS, Michigan residents have a tradition as a remarkable, generous people with more than an estimated 80 percent of households making charitable contributions in recent years; and,

WHEREAS, However, according to a survey conducted by Michigan State University, only 43 percent of Michigan residents have executed a will and only 21 percent of those having a will include a gift to charity; and,

WHEREAS, All adults, regardless of family wealth or circumstances, are encouraged to have a will, the starting point of an effective estate plan; and,

WHEREAS, The Partnership for Philanthropic Planning, among other experts, has observed that people make few charitable gifts in their wills simply because they have not been asked to do so; and,

WHEREAS, Nonprofit organizations provide excellent and vital services in all areas of our lives — religion, education, health care, research, the arts, and social services for the poor and disadvantaged; and,

WHEREAS, Charitable giving through will bequests gives each of us the opportunity to support and perpetuate for future generations those values and ideals most important to us and our families that we cherished during our lifetimes; and,

WHEREAS, Many Michigan nonprofit organizations, allied professionals and community leaders are engaged in the LEAVE A LEGACY® public awareness effort that aims to “Make a Difference in the Lives that Follow” by encouraging Michigan citizens to make legacy gifts through their wills in order that non-profit organizations can continue their work of serving and sustaining the quality of life that makes Michigan and its communities good places to live, work and raise families; and now therefore be it,

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim May 2015, as Leave a Legacy Month in Michigan.