In honor of Don and Rhoda Mains, the St. Paul Jewish Federation has partnered with the Harold Grinspoon Foundation program, LIFE & LEGACY PLUS, to establish a joint endowment-building endeavor for the St. Paul Jewish community. Fifteen Jewish organizations in the community have come together to integrate legacy giving into their philanthropic culture. This initiative aims to create a thriving Jewish future in St. Paul. To achieve this goal, the St. Paul Jewish Federation provides training, consulting, coaching, marketing support, and annual incentive grants to all participating organizations.




Five Questions You Should Ask Before Seeing Your Advisor or Estate Planner

Start with a Basic Question

Fifty years from now, your great-grandchild is asked to write a history of your family.
• What does that story say?
• What are the themes that carry through from now until then?
• How does that great-grandchild know you, your guiding principles, and what you held most dear during your life?

Question 1: What is really important to the family?
• On what core values does your family agree?
• Does your family stand for achievement, creativity, compassion, diversity, generosity, hard work, honesty, integrity, justice, knowledge, love, respect, service or spirituality?
Jump to Top

Question 2: What are the true assets of the family?
• Human Capital – Who are you called to be, what are you called to do, what are your passions, talents, expertise, and dreams? How can you use education and training to improve skills and knowledge?
• Intellectual Capital – What do you know, how do you learn, how does your family make decisions and manage conflict?
• Social Capital – What are your bonds and networks to our civil society? Are you philanthropic?
• Financial Capital – What are your holdings and financial assets? For what purpose?

Question 3: What should your family do to guide and support the life journey of each member over time?
• Focus on the human, intellectual and social capital of each family member
• Stress the priority of each family member’s individual pursuit of happiness
• Enhance intra-family communication
• Determine success over the long-term
• Tell and retell the family’s most important stories
• Engage all family members in the family vision statement
• Get to know each family member and that person’s family capital
• Give young family members as much responsibility as they can manage as soon as possible

Question 4: How much is an appropriate financial inheritance?
• Estate planning asks, “How much can we get to our children,” but never asks how much is enough
• When should a financial inheritance be transferred to heirs?
• What form should a financial inheritance take?
• How much should heirs know, and when?
• Teach the next generations the competencies and responsibilities that come with financial wealth, and start now

Question 5: Does your family feel a responsibility to society and charities?
• Tzedakah: Charity — not viewed as a generous, magnanimous act; it is simply an act of justice and righteousness, the performance of a duty, giving the poor their due
• Define core values and integrate them into a combined family and philanthropic plan
• Choose a giving vehicle or assess existing giving vehicles to help carry the family’s values forward
• Set goals and strategies
• Engage and assess all grantees
• Measure outcomes
• Create a succession plan for both the family and philanthropy