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Putting your family and GA first

National Estate Planning Awareness Week

Aviators know they have two families: the family they are born into and the family they gain by joining the close-knit general aviation community. Smart estate planning, including supporting the AOPA Foundation’s Legacy Society, can help you ensure a bright future for both.

Photo by David Tulis.

Studies conducted by the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils show that more than half of Americans do not have an up-to-date estate plan. This can jeopardize their own financial future, as well as that of their family.

National Estate Planning Awareness Week was enacted more than a decade ago to help people understand what estate planning is and why it is such an important element of total financial wellness. Between October 17 and 23, Americans are reminded to examine their own plans to protect those close to them—today and tomorrow.

Estate planning is more than a tool for just the well-off or for those later in life; a proper strategy can help anyone safeguard everything they love, from their family to the freedom to fly.

“Joining our Legacy Society enables AOPA members to protect the financial future of what’s most dear to them,” said Elizabeth Tennyson, senior vice president of the AOPA Foundation. “It can be a smart and relatively simple financial decision for themselves and their family, and a great way to give back to a passion that has given so much to all of us.”

Again this year, donors can reinforce their gift via the AOPA Foundation Legacy Challenge, which was fueled by a $1 million pledge from an anonymous donor to allow participants to have a greater impact on the programs that the foundation funds. These programs, You Can Fly and the AOPA Air Safety Institute, build a stronger, safer pilot community, and ensure a healthy future for GA for generations to come.

If you already have an estate plan, this week is also a good reminder to examine your plan to ensure that you have reflected any life changes or adjustments in your financial vision.

If you have not yet set up a will, FreeWill offers a will-writing resource at no cost to friends of the AOPA Foundation. Featuring an interactive, step-by-step platform, this resource can help you build a complete will in as little as 20 minutes. When you create your will through FreeWill, you will find the necessary language to include a legacy gift to the AOPA Foundation. (FreeWill is one of many companies that offer online self-help solutions for common estate planning needs and related educational content. Such companies are not law firms and their services are not a substitute for an attorney’s advice. Estate planning can involve both state and federal laws, and estate planning needs will differ based on personal circumstance and applicable law. If you need estate planning legal or tax advice, the bar association that oversees lawyers in your state of residence can help connect you with legal resources.)

For more information on legacy giving, visit the AOPA Foundation Legacy Giving page, or contact the AOPA Foundation by phone at 301-695-2320.

The You Can Fly program and the Air Safety Institute are funded by charitable donations to the AOPA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization. To be a part of the solution, visit

Alyssa J. Miller

Eric Blinderman

Senior Director of Communications
Eric Blinderman is AOPA’s Senior Director of Communications. Eric joined AOPA in 2020 after several years at leading marketing/communications agencies in New York and is looking forward to putting his newly minted private pilot certificate to work.
Topics: AOPA Foundation, Financial

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