A grand slam in legacy planning

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Frederik B. Wilcox left a multi-layered legacy when he died in 1965.

A champion of both risk and prudence, he famously wrote, “Progress always involves risk. You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.”

Thanks to those oft-quoted words, Wilcox will be remembered for his wit, and, based on his financial wisdom, he’ll also be remembered for his will.

Two years ago, a bequest by Wilcox granted the largest unrestricted gift to the Rhode Island Foundation in its 100-year-history. An investment banker who forged his way from humble beginnings, Wilcox left a trust of about $1 million, to be overseen by his daughter, Nancy W. Mattis. He specified that 60 percent of whatever it had grown to at the time of her own passing would be given to the Rhode Island Foundation.

Due to her careful stewardship, the trust grew to $48 million by the time she died in 2016 at age 95. Based on his foresight and her care, the foundation received $28 million in unrestricted funds, a grand slam for the smallest state in the union and a testament to the lasting power of estate planning.

The Wilcox plan worked beautifully for several reasons. First, he set up his legacy plan carefully and designated beneficiaries based on his own passions and beliefs. Then, he chose a capable (turns out gifted) trustee to manage the account. Lastly, he vetted his beneficiary carefully and understood that the Rhode Island Foundation would be solvent and prepared to handle his generous bequest a half century after he made it.

Mr. Wilcox began his life impoverished, but he’ll be remembered for generations thanks to astute estate planning.

At Winch Financial, we don’t just recognize exceptional legacies, we help build them.  If you or anyone you know has any questions regarding estate planning, please contact us. We’re always glad to help.