GrantKal Grant serves as the chair of SMU’s Planned Giving Advisory Council, as a member of the SMU Board of Trustees’ Development and External Affairs Committee and as a member of the Campaign Steering Committee for Cox School of Business. She graduated from SMU with a B.B.A. in Accounting and an LL.M. in Taxation. She serves as Managing Director with Tolleson Wealth Management. Campaign Update spoke with Ms. Grant about SMU’s upcoming focus on planned giving and the advantages of such gifts.

Campaign Update: SMU will highlight the importance of planned giving throughout 2015, the final year of The Second Century Campaign. Why are planned gifts important right now?

Grant: All written commitments to The Second Century Campaign are recognized in the campaign total, including planned gifts that enable a donor to participate in the campaign at a higher level without additional outlays of cash this year or next year. Most important, planned gifts help ensure SMU’s success in the future!

CU: What would you like donors to know about planned gifts?

Grant: Planned giving is for everyone. A common mistake is the belief that planned giving is only for wealthy people. In reality, every individual and family can make a difference to SMU through planned giving. Unlike cash donations, planned gifts are typically made from assets in your estate, rather than with disposable income during your lifetime. They can even be made with portions of life insurance proceeds or retirement accounts at your death. Many types of planned giving vehicles also offer income benefits to donors and their families, sometimes with considerable tax savings.

CU: In your career as a financial advisor, how have you seen families benefit from incorporating planned gifts into their estate and tax planning?

Grant: Philanthropic planning is an integral part of most wealth planning. Not only am I looking for ways to help my clients be more tax efficient with their planning, but I am also helping guide them to establish commitments to the charities that mean the most to them. Making annual gifts is critical, but I would be remiss if I didn’t remind my clients that those annual gifts will stop after their death. I ask them how they can continue to support their charity of choice long after they are gone, and how they can let their families know which charities they would want them to continue to support. Often the answer is through a planned gift.

CU: You are a member of the Dallas Hall Society, which was established to recognize the generosity and foresight of those who have provided future gifts for SMU. Why did you decide to make a planned gift to SMU and join the Dallas Hall Society?

Grant: I included SMU in my estate plans through a bequest in my will. For me, this was the simplest way to accomplish my goals of thanking SMU for all the great opportunities it has provided and giving something back. Once I updated my will, all I had to do was notify SMU in writing of my planned gift. It is easy, and something that many people can do!