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Giving to your passion

If you haven't done your estate planning yet, don't put it off. You probably already know who your heirs and beneficiaries are, but you might also want to think about including some charities in your estate planning. This is especially something to think about if you have no family or specific heirs to consider. Do you have a passion about a specific project or charity that you would like to see continue or thrive in the future? Consider allotting a part of your estate to it in your will or testament.

That's what one philanthropist did. Daniel Dietrich II was an heir himself to a large family corporation, and also vice president of Luden's -- known for cough drops. Considered a quiet anthropologist, he also had a great love for art, reigning as a board member of the University of Pennsylvania's Institute of Contemporary Art.

Dietrich had graduated from college with a degree in art history, and then spent his life very involved in art-filled projects. He was a part of a committee responsible for designing the Wellin Museum, which named a gallery after him in his honor. In the 1960's, he acted with stars such as Morgan Freeman, Wallace Shawn and others at the Theatre of the Living Arts. He even appeared in "Dawn of the Dead" in 1978.

But spending his life in art galleries and acting during his life wasn't enough for Dietrich. He wanted his passion for the arts to live on. Mr. Dietrich passed away on Sept. 1, at the age of 73. But before he died, he endowed $10 million dollars to ICA. He said before his death that it would mean "giving artists the opportunity to venture into new territory...". He wanted artists to be able to "percolate ideas" and clearly, his gift will help them to do so.

If you have a passion or project you feel strongly about, you can help it live on by just visiting your estate attorney and including it in your will and testament. It is a great way of giving.

Source: Philly.com, "Philanthropist Daniel Dietrich II dies at 73, gave large endowment to ICA," Stephan Salisbury, Sep. 06, 2015

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