April 26th, 2011
4 reminders for joining the 1909 Society
Well, another tax day has come and gone for us Americans, and like most, it’s one of the few times a year where I sit and look at my finances as a whole. As a mother of two young children, I naturally worry about how well I’m providing for them now, and what would happen if the unthinkable should happen.
I do hope someday I find myself in the same situation as my parents, who have raised their children, gotten us through college, and weddings, and grandchildren, and say “Now what do we do with our money?” My sister and I had to encourage them to draw up a will. Neither of us are attorneys, but we’re smart enough to know that deciding not to have a will is effectively the same as letting your state decide who gets your assets after your death.
Rather than leave this important issue unanswered or in dispute, each state has a default system (commonly referred to as intestacy) in the event one is needed. For some, the net result is the same as a person would have wanted anyway. Others, however, may be surprised how the state decides who gets what and how much. The state will not take into account your loved ones or causes you believe in.
We hope that SPJ is a cause you believe in. If so, we encourage you to become a member of the 1909 Society. Here are four things to keep in mind when preparing your will or other estate documents:
- Be sure the beneficiary of your gift is specifically designated as the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, which is a 501 (C) (3) charity—not the Society of Professional Journalists, which is a 501 (C) (6) business league
- SDX’s address is 3909 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46208 and the telephone number is 317-927-8000
- SDX’s tax identification number is 36-6106287
- Be sure to inform SDX if you move, relocate, or have any changes in your long-term plans
As I said, I’m not an estate attorney, or any kind of attorney for that matter, but I have seen the benefits of what a planned gift can do. Last year, SDX received a $65,000 gift from the estate of long-time SPJ member Alexander Bodi. That gift, coupled with the $35,000 already endowed in the Terry Harper Memorial Fund, created a fund that spins off enough money to annually send five cash-strapped journalists to SPJ’s national conference. And that’s a cause to believe in!
We hope you’ll let us know if you’ve included SDX in any of your estate plans so that we can include you in the 1909 Society along with other supporters. And as we celebrate more than a century of improving and protecting journalism, there really is no better time to provide for the next hundred years!
Amy Posavac is the Director of Development for SPJ’s Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, and while she’s not a journalist, she does play one on TV.