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My seven-year-old P.D. (Peter Dylan) came home from school last week, talking about Great Mistakes.

A couple hours later, our conversation turned to one particular mistake of mine, which lives large in family lore every Halloween. See, this year P.D. wants to go trick-or-treating in a mummy costume, despite what happened – once upon a time – to his older brother Andrew.

Upside of Wardrobe Malfunctions

Years ago, I ripped up a lot of white fabric, and pulled out a hot glue gun to create the ultimate DIY mummy costume. Andrew was wrapped head to toe in my homemade mummy fabric, all glued securely at strategic points along the way.

I was proud of my work, until five words from Andrew’s mouth changed the mood completely: “Mom, I have to pee.” That’s when I realized, ‘Houston, we have a problem.’ I’d hot-glue-gunned Andrew into a costume with no clear way out!  Fast forward to Halloween 2021, and I have been reminded MANY times by P.D. “Mom, please do not do what you did to Andrew!”

Well, I managed to redeem myself. P.D’s costume looks great, and is easy to remove when nature calls. We even added some fake spiders and fake blood to make P.D’s mummy costume especially spooky! I guess this is what P.D. and his classmates at his Acton Academy school meant when they talked about how any mistake can become a “great mistake,” if you take away a lesson that makes you a little wiser … and perhaps able to succeed, rather than fail, in the future.

Learning from Mistakes

We all have regrets. Some are impossible to fix; the only option is to learn from a mistake and find the peace of mind to not dwell on the past. But other mistakes ARE fixable. This comes up from time to time in discussions of estate plans, trusts, family foundations, and the like.

Part of my role at DonorsTrust is to be a sounding board for those who love and invest in the ideas of liberty. Sometimes, the plans you made just a few years ago don’t seem to reflect your charitable priorities going forward. Or perhaps you worry that too much discretion is being left to others after your death, who might not be as vigilant in keeping your funds focused on helping advance freedom.

If this is you, you should remember P.D’s wisdom about turning a mistake into a “great mistake” that sets you up to do it right this time. DonorsTrust has lots of ways to help philanthropists like you achieve your goals, while keeping costs low.

Your Plans Can Change

When setting up your legacy plans with me, I can remind you that there are countless opportunities to change your mind when it comes to legacy planning. You have been attending the same temple for 10 years and then move a few hours away and you join a new temple–one that becomes near and dear to your heart.

Give us a call and we can easily, and without heavy legal fees, change your legacy plans to include your new temple. You were a big fan of the work of one free-market think tank for many years but find that their mission has changed. You have become involved with a new free market think tank and wow, the work they are doing impresses you.  Simple. Call me and we can work together to change your legacy plans.

Let Us Help

You’ve decided that tracking down 50 donation receipts for tax purposes has become a bear. Maybe you’ve decided having board meetings for your family foundation is time consuming and contentious, whereas you might achieve the same results more simply with a donor-advised fund such at DonorsTrust. No big deal and what a GREAT MISTAKE, as P.D. would say.

Just email or call us and we can easily open a DonorsTrust account for you to help simplify your giving. Let us focus on your future together. Whether it’s setting up a DonorsTrust donor-advised fund, establishing a legacy account, or just reviewing your legacy plans with us … give us a call or send us an email and we can talk.

Whether you’re starting from scratch, or – like PD and me and many others – trying to fix and learn from past mistakes, I would be more than happy to help! While I doubt we’ll need my Halloween Mummy costume-making glue-gun, I’ll keep it handy just in case!

Stephanie G. Lips

Author Stephanie G. Lips

Stephanie Giovanetti Lips joined DonorsTrust in 2018 as a philanthropy advisor with a general focus on planned giving. Before joining DonorsTrust, Stephanie led the events department at Atlas Network, leading its international expansion to organize annual events in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America. She also took on major gift officer responsibilities and headed up its planned giving program. Stephanie has consulted on events and fundraising for organizations such as The American Spectator, the Future of Freedom Foundation, National Association of Chemical Distributors and Johnson and Johnson. Stephanie attended Marymount University and has a B.A. in English Literature. When not working for DonorsTrust or mentoring think tank leaders from within the Atlas Network or speaking on topics close to her heart, like planned giving, Stephanie loves listening to the giggles of her children and the panting of her dog, Scooby Doo.

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