When estate planning attorney Margaret Hand was diagnosed with cancer 14 years ago, she realized how hard it was to make estate decisions after getting a scary diagnosis. Now, Margaret is quick to discourage people from waiting until the last minute to plan.
She knew what she wanted. “I wanted to leave Greenbelt Alliance a legacy gift, so its work could continue even after I was gone,” says Margaret, who served on the board from 1995 to 1999. “I knew the organization was well run and would survive me. I liked that it was a mature organization but had not lost its vision.”
As an estate planning attorney, Margaret encourages her clients to view their estate plans as a chance to tell the world what they care about. Childless clients may leave significant amounts of their estate, up to 25 – 50%, to charity. Parents usually plan first for their children, but many recognize that their estate plan is the last time they can demonstrate to their children their commitment to those causes that mattered during their lifetimes.
Margaret, an avid bicyclist, often trains in the East Bay hills with her husband. “I love how the greenbelt separates the Bay Area’s communities,” she says. “I can ride 50 to 75 miles without leaving the open space.”
With her cancer in remission, Margaret enjoys the beauty provided by the region’s protected landscapes. A longtime member, she has made arrangements so that one of her last statements will be a “thank you” to Greenbelt Alliance, and generations will benefit from her gratitude.