Published: Winter 2011 in Giving

What’s a Legacy Coach and Why Do You Need One?

Legacy: Something handed down from an ancestor or predecessor, money or property bequeathed to someone by will.

Coach: A person who gives private instruction, as in singing or acting.

A legacy coach provides Westmont alumni, parents, faculty, staff and friends with private consultation in preparing and implementing personal or family legacies that best reflect your desires and values. Our legacy coaches simplify and demystify estate planning. Too often people don’t plan ahead because they expect the process to be complex, difficult, time consuming and expensive.

Making sense of tax laws and legal documents can seem daunting — and not all estate planning professionals do a good job of explaining the details. But Westmont’s legacy coaches remove all these barriers and help people accomplish their charitable objectives through effective estate planning.

What is a legacy coach?

A legacy coach is an experienced gift-planning specialist who works for Westmont and is trained to guide individuals and families in planning their estates and preparing customized legacy plans that best represent their philanthropic desires and values.

What is a legacy plan?

A legacy plan is the end result of legacy coaching and includes a checklist of the most appropriate alternatives available to accomplish your objectives based upon the outcomes you wish to achieve through your personal legacy for future generations.

Are Westmont’s legacy coaches attorneys?

Our legacy coaches are former certified financial planners, not lawyers. They will work with your legal advisers to draft all legal documents needed to implement your legacy plan.

Do Westmont’s legacy coaches charge any fees?

No, all legacy coaching services are free. But you will be responsible for fees associated with drafting any legal documents required to implement your plan. The work of our legacy coaches often reduces the time a lawyer takes to prepare documents, saving you money.

We don’t have a relationship with an attorney. Can you help us find one to create the documents we might need?

Yes, we have a list of local attorneys and access to a national directory of qualified attorneys familiar with charitable gift planning.

How long does it take to complete legacy coaching?

It depends on the complexity of your situation. You set the pace.

Will information about our situation be kept confidential?

Our legacy coaches take special precautions to maintain confidentiality and preserve your privacy. We will not share any information you provide without first obtaining written authorization from you.

Does it matter which legacy coach we work with?

The coaches work together so all legacy plans benefit from the experience, skills and talents of both.

Can we include other charitable organizations or causes in the development of our legacy plans?

Of course! It’s your legacy plan, and it should reflect your individual decisions and benefit organizations that best represent your values.

Can we make changes to the plan once we have considered the alternatives presented?

Yes, our legacy coaches will work with you to create the plan you want. We suggest alternatives we think appropriate for your situation that align with your values. However, we stand ready to make any modifications until you are completely satisfied with your plan.

How do legacy coaches communicate with other professional advisers?

We prefer to obtain your written permission to contact your attorney, accountant or other advisers to get their input about our recommendations before we ask you to consider them. They may or may not charge a fee depending on your agreement with them.

Where can I get more information?

Click on the Legacy Coaching link at or contact us at or 805-565-6058.

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