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6 tips for estate planning and holiday giving

As people prepare their year-end giving, the AOA is highlighting the many charitable and volunteer programs of Optometry Cares®—The AOA Foundation, from childhood vision care to disaster relief.

With this year's challenges and accomplishments still fresh in your mind, now is a good time to review your giving and your estate planning.

To help, Optometry Cares® created the following checklist of estate-planning actions. Some will help you keep your affairs in order, while others will aid your gift-planning as the end of the year draws near:

1. Review your current will and trusts

These may need to be updated because of major changes in your life, such as births, deaths or a move to another state. 

2. Take inventory of your safe-deposit boxes

Make a written record, and give a copy to a trusted family member. Note any items you are holding for someone else that don't belong to you. 

3. Review your beneficiary designations

Review life insurance and retirement plans to make sure your beneficiary is not out of date—someone who is now deceased or a former spouse, for example. 

4. Stay up to date

Make sure your durable power of attorney for health care and living will are current. 

5. Check your guardian

Make sure you are comfortable with the guardian named in your will for those under your care, such as minor children or loved ones who are disabled.

6. Finish charitable contributions by Dec. 31

As you think about special holiday presents for family and friends, remember making charitable gifts to organizations such as Optometry Cares® in their honor can be a heartwarming experience that also offers tax benefits.

Optometry Cares® can help you with your planning. Experts can assist you in determining the best way to remember the foundation—either this year or in your estate. For example, with a minimum pledge of $500 each year for three years, you can become a Charter Member of an elite group of AOA supporters in the Optometry Cares Society. Call 314-983-4138 or email for more details.

December 5, 2013

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