Where there’s a Will ...


Planning matters. I just updated my own estate plan. My prior plan was a good one and reflected my values and what I wanted to do for my family and those I loved...seven years ago. But, when my family experienced an unexpected transition in 2012, I was forced to re-examine my plan. And, I was amazed at how many changes (other than the transition itself) had occurred in that seven-year period, including:

  • My father passed away.
  • My mother sold the family home in Montana and relocated to Oregon close to my younger sister. And, my mother, age 86, is still living alone.
  • I have a five-year-old granddaughter.
  • The economic landscape has changed, impacting the value of my retirement portfolio, as well as the value of my home.
  • I am seven years closer to retirement and am much more risk-averse in my investing than I  was in 2006.
  • My funky older Mesa home in Santa Barbara is also seven years older.
  • And, this list does not include changes in the lives of my adult children, brother and sister, my nephew, my extended family, or my friends.


Each one of the changes in this list affects my think- ing about the timing of my retirement, the resources I will need to care for myself, and how the assets in my estate will ultimately be distributed to family, friends, and charities in a fair and meaningful way.



There’s a Way...


As you update your estate plan, please remember Cottage in your philanthropic planning. Philanthropy has helped to enhance the strengths of Cottage Health System and it will be a key factor in our ability to respond to the changing healthcare needs of our community in the future. Investing in healthcare can sustain critical services for generations to come.Opportunities for legacy gifts bearing your family name include:

  • Creating an endowment to sustain one of the teaching positions in our graduate medical education program which supports three specialty areas — internal medicine, general surgery, and diagnostic radiology.
  • Creating an endowment for children’s services to support our youngest and most vulnerable patients.
  • Creating an endowment to fund scholarships for those who are enrolled in nursing education pro- grams and plan to work at one of Cottage Health System’s hospitals.
  • Creating an unrestricted endowment that will en- able the Cottage Board to meet the highest needs of the organization and take advantage of medical opportunities when new technologies arise.


These are just a few of the many ways you can strengthen and sustain healthcare services in our community through your estate planning. Lastly, please let us know that you have taken this important step so that we can thank you and recognize you for your vision and generosity.




If you haven’t looked at your own estate plan within the last five years, I encourage you to do so. Do it for your immediate family and be a model for your extended family and friends. Because planning matters.


To aid you in your planning process Cottage can provide you with numerous planning tools at www.cottagelegacy.org


This online “Plan Your Will” tool will help you think through your personal situation, document assets and issues, then allow you to print your outline to use when you consult with your personal advisors. We would appreciate your feedback on this tool.


You may also call us at 805-879-8987, or 805-879-8982, to receive a complimentary, no-obligation copy of Provide and Protect, an easy-to-read book on planning your estate.


Carla A. Long

Director of Planned Giving

Cottage Health System


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