The Pittsburgh Foundation

Will Week

Talk to your financial advisors and Foundation staff about how gifts from wills and other assets can accomplish your philanthropic goals.
Talk to your financial advisors and Foundation staff about how gifts from wills and other assets can accomplish your philanthropic goals.

During Will Week, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County are sharing insights about why estate planning and will preparation are so important to you, your family and your assets.

An effective plan can include support for nonprofits and causes you care about most, strengthening our community and creating a lasting legacy.


WEBINAR: Estate planning + your philanthropy


Watch the May 16 webinar recording attended by donors and others interested in learning about planned giving. Questions? Email us at development [at] (development[at]pghfdn[dot]org)

ESTATE PLANNING TEDx TALK: Tips from an expert

In this TED Talk, David York explains how the transfer of wealth from one generation to the next brings with it a tremendous opportunity to build community.



  • Do I have to use cash and name charities in my will or are there other options?

    While these are options to consider, they are not the only ones. One benefit of choosing to work with the Foundation for your legacy planning is that we can accept a variety of assets, including complex securities and more. We often advise individuals to consult their financial advisor or tax professional who have a full understanding of your financial resources to best determine which assets are strategically suitable for your various goals.


    And while you can name charitable beneficiaries in your will, legacy planning with the Foundation may provide you with more flexibility or security in ensuring that your charitable intentions are fulfilled over time, and it may also be more beneficial to the charity or charities that you wish to support.


  • Does my estate need to be large for a planned gift to make a substantial impact?

    Planned giving is suitable for anyone who is charitable, but who may not have the financial means to make gifts during their lifetime. Maybe you are someone that needs your assets to live comfortably during your lifetime but would like to leave a charitable legacy when you are no longer here. Establishing a planned gift allows you to achieve this goal and support organizations and causes that are align with your values as part of your legacy.

  • Planned gifts seem to be complicated and confusing to establish and I do not have the resources. Can it really work for me?

    While there are numerous ways to provide a planned gift, the most common – a bequest – is quite simple and does not require you to make any financial contribution during your lifetime. You simply work with Foundation staff to outline your charitable intentions in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and determine which assets you want to direct to the Foundation when you are no longer living.

  • How can I ensure that assets remain for my heirs if I make a planned gift to charity?

    Planned gift can be structured to achieve all your goals – supporting loved ones and charity. With guidance from your financial advisor, you may learn that leaving even a small gift to your organization will still leave enough to support your family. Also, when you factor in the tax situation for your estate, you may be able to donate more than you thought.


    We encourage you to share your plans with your family which creates a legacy that is about more than money.


  • What if I change my mind about organizations that I want to support?

    Most planned giving options are revocable, and you can update your Memorandum of Understanding with the Foundation, which captures your charitable intentions, at any time. Another advantage of working with the Foundation for your legacy planning is you can identify broad areas that you would like to support, such as basic needs, the environment, arts/culture and more and we will fulfill your wishes when you are no longer here. As a pillar of the community, you can also entrust the Foundation to direct your resources to support ongoing and evolving needs in the community with unrestricted support because your fund will live on forever.


Nicole Pardus Jessica Rafferty

Proper preparation can make succession planning simple

Planning for events unforeseen or eventualities that befall everyone eventually is the job for Nicole Pardus, an estate planning attorney for Long & Long in Greensburg, Westmoreland County.
Read Nicole's advice for succession planning prep


Be prepared: Five most popular questions in estate planning

We posed a simple scenario to Westmoreland County attorney Jessica Rafferty, co-founder of Rafferty Legal: What are the five most common questions you get from clients around estate planning?  
View Jessica's answers about estate planning


Plan now to make a difference for tomorrow.

Through Planned Giving, the Foundation offers specialized services and guidance that can make a powerful difference in the lives of your loved ones, community and future generations. 

Learn more about giving through your will or estate plan.

Consider establishing a donor-advised fund or add to your current fund.

Since 1945, the Foundation has worked to help individuals and families make long lasting and powerful differences in the lives of others. We can help you realize the power of charitable giving, customize a plan that matches your wishes and open up the exciting and fulfilling world of philanthropy. Establishing a fund is easy. 

Learn more about how to establish a fund (or add to your existing fund


The Pittsburgh Foundation
Five PPG Place, Suite 250
Pittsburgh, PA 15222


development [at] (Email The Pittsburgh Foundation)

The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County
41 W. Otterman Street, Ste 520
Greensburg, PA  15601 


info [at] (Email The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County)


Below, you can read how others have created their own planned giving strategies: