Blog   Tagged ‘research’

The Plan in Planned Giving

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Planned giving can be an important tool when planning for the future of your estate. Some may have a desire to give to non-profit organizations, including their alma mater, a medical research project or a favorite youth organization. Whatever your desire, make sure you work with an experienced financial partner that can help guide you through the process to ensure your goals can be met.

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First, what constitutes a meaningful gift?

Quite simply, any gift is a meaningful gift. Many people are under the impression that only the very wealthy can be philanthropic. However, this is not the case. Gifts of any size are greatly appreciated by non-profit organizations, especially now as economic challenges have affected many individuals’ ability to donate while the needs continue to grow.

Motivations for gifting

The reasons for gifting vary greatly depending on the individual. Compassion for those in need, an extension of a religious or spiritual commitment, desire to share good fortune with others and memorializing the lives of others are some of the most prevalent reasons for planned gifts. You should personally evaluate your motivation and goals, and keep them in mind when determining how and when you want to support a cause.

Selecting the “right” organization

There are many worthy organizations, and choosing the non-profit that best fits your giving intentions is extremely important. Once your inspiration for giving has been clearly identified, make a short-list of potential groups. Organizations should be carefully researched and vetted to ensure you are comfortable with the final decision. It’s important to learn about a specific topic or organization, so your philanthropy can be used in a meaningful way. Once one or more organizations have been selected, a financial partner can help you define your vision, determine how the gift will be distributed and then evaluate, when possible, how the gift has been used.

Gift Options

Another item to consider is the type of gift you may want to give. Many organizations have gift acceptance policies, which may exclude certain types of donations. Things like stocks, real estate, art or other items may be quite valuable, but you should have a conversation with the organization first to ensure they are able to accept these types of gifts.  

Planned giving is an extremely meaningful and personal investment. Taking the time to evaluate these types of questions can really help individuals and organizations make the most of charitable gifts.

Jan Leonard is senior vice president and managing director for charitable trusts, private foundations and fine art services. She joined UMB in 2003 and has more than 25 years of experience in the management of private and public organizations. Leonard earned a bachelor’s degree from Arkansas Tech University and a master’s degree in business administration from Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kan. She is also a graduate of the Cannon School of Foundation Management.

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Fiduciaries: what are they and why do you need them?

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One of the most important items in your estate planning process is naming the fiduciaries who will execute your wishes and manage your assets when needed. First, you may be wondering what exactly is a fiduciary. Very simply, a fiduciary is a third-party representative who is appointed to act on behalf of someone else.

Two of the most common fiduciaries in estate planning are the personal representative, the person who handles the assets that are included in someone’s last will and testament; and a trustee, someone who handles the assets that have been placed in a trust.

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So, why do you need a fiduciary and how do you choose the right one? Here are some things to keep in mind.

  • Carefully select a fiduciary that you trust to execute your plans.

    Handling an estate may seem like a simple process that anyone can easily manage. However, don’t underestimate both the amount of work and the expertise needed to carry out required duties.

    First, there are a variety of laws that must be navigated, including complicated probate laws. Additionally, accounting for estates and trusts can be extremely technical and require excellent record keeping and tracking. Your fiduciaries must be able to show through proper accounting that they have handled and managed the estate and its assets in an accurate, fair and unbiased manner. If you pick someone who is lacking in knowledge or organizational skills they are at risk for liability and personal fines.

    Tax planning is also a necessary expertise—it’s imperative that an estate is run in a tax-efficient manner. Fiduciaries must understand how their actions affect the estate or trust as well as the beneficiaries. This includes how assets are invested and distributed since trusts are subject to different tax rates and laws than individuals or corporations.

  • There may be disagreements.

    Secondly, you may truly believe that your family members and friends will easily work together and agree on how your assets should be handled. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Appointing a family member or friend frequently causes tension or distress that may not have existed before. If not handled properly, this can easily result in stress, damaged relations or, in some cases, legal action between or against your loved ones.

  • You don’t have to be wealthy to use a professional fiduciary.

    Employing a professional fiduciary is cost-effective, and something you should think about even if you do not consider yourself to be a high-net-worth individual. Your immediate reaction may be that it’s more expensive to hire a fiduciary to handle everything, rather than seeking individual counsel from different experts as needed. However, in many cases, a fiduciary’s cost will be equal to or less expensive.

At the end of the day, it’s in your best interest to carefully research your options to select the appropriate fiduciary for your own unique situation. Designating the right person to efficiently and quickly handle these details in a difficult time is truly one of the best gifts you can leave behind.


When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.

Mr. Tjaden serves as executive vice president and chief fiduciary officer. He is responsible for supervising all fiduciary activities and staff for UMB, including offices in Kansas City, St. Louis, Denver, Phoenix and Salina, as well as the Trust Company in South Dakota. Mr. Tjaden oversees Personal Trust, Custody, Foundations, Trust Legal and Business Support Services within the Private Wealth Management division. He joined UMB in 1977. Mr. Tjaden earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and political science from Kansas State University. He also earned a Juris Doctor and a master’s in business administration from the University of Kansas. Additionally, Mr. Tjaden is a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor and a member of the Estate Planning Society, the Johnson County Bar Association and the Kansas Bar Association.

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Multiple Summits for MS

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We sat down with Ryan Chase, UMB vice president and private banking client manager in Denver, to discuss an organization that’s become his personal mission: Multiple Summits 4 Multiple Sclerosis.

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MS4MS Team UMB Quandary PeakWhat is Multiple Summits?

Multiple Summits 4 Multiple Sclerosis (MS4MS) is an annual fundraising event for the Rocky Mountain MS Center. Teams can sign up for a day they want to climb a 14er. Or you can go it alone and participate as an individual.

When did you get involved?

It all started when I was almost diagnosed with MS in 2006/2007. I saw numerous doctors and eventually was labeled at-risk for MS. I knew I would make the best of it no matter what happened, but the thought of having MS terrified me. The doctors monitored me for one year. In February 2008, I had more tests and the doctors found no progression. The neurologists told me that unless there was any major change in symptoms, I probably didn’t have MS. Relieved doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt.



But I knew others weren’t as lucky. I wanted to get involved with the Rocky Mountain MS Center to make a difference for those who are diagnosed with MS. This wonderful organization is doing some amazing work to educate others about MS and raise money for research to find treatments and hopefully a cure for this debilitating disease. I told them my story and ended up joining the board in 2008.

Then in 2009, I planned to climb Mount Rainier. At first I was only doing it for fun but then I decided to create a fundraising webpage to raise money for the climb. Funding is critical to the work we’re doing at the MS Center and I thought a fundraiser like this would help. I ended up raising $2,000 for the MS Center. When I got back from that climb I decided that I wanted to try it on a larger scale. That simple idea has expanded into what MS4MS is today.

How has it evolved since then?

MS4MS was a grassroots effort in the beginning, but we raised $20,000 in the first year alone. We doubled that the second year, collecting $40,000 from 20 teams. By the third year we formed an official MS4MS committee through the Rocky Mountain MS Center. The program really began to grow that year with 22 teams raising $75,000. We also began accepting corporate sponsors.

How many years has UMB participated?

UMB has supported the program now for two years, acting as a corporate sponsor and encouraging Colorado associates to climb a 14er. This year, nine UMB associates raised money and climbed for the event.

Promoting healthy lifestyles in our associates is an important part of UMB’s company culture. Supporting and promoting MS4MS is just one of the many ways we do this.

MS4MS Team UMB Quandary Peak with SignSome of Team UMB at the top of Quandary Peak. From left to right: Chris Ross, Jenny Boyle, Caleb Hester, Ed Cannon

How much money did the event raise this year?

This year the goal was to raise $80,000. We’re continuing fundraising efforts until October 31, but we are well on our way and we will most likely surpass our goal. We had 225 people register to climb and currently we have raised a little more than $70,000.

Why is Multiple Summits important to you?

As a board member, I know how critical funding dollars are to help with the continuous effort to support the Rocky Mountain MS Center and how important the research is to find a cure for MS. Our partner doctors need the financial support to continue their efforts in finding a cure and progressive treatments for this disease. MS4MS helps the Rocky Mountain MS Center operate. Having gone through the process of a possible MS diagnosis was extremely eye-opening to me and I am proud of what many committed individuals have accomplished in a short period of time.


When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.

Ryan Chase is a vice president and private banking client manager at UMB Bank, n.a. He is responsible for building and maintaining affluent client relationships through fulfilling credit, banking and investment needs. He has worked for UMB for six years. He has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Ill.

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