Jim and Pam Fletcher both had the same goal in mind when it came to estate planning — to assure that their assets would provide ongoing benefits to the causes and organizations that they care about and support. And the Toledo Community Foundation’s Legacy Fund provided a perfect means to achieve that goal.
Pam and Jim met while attending Oberlin College. They married and moved to Boston, where the two of them earned master’s degrees and Pam taught high school in nearby Quincy. After graduate school, they moved to Long Island, where Jim worked for Grumman Aerospace and Pam continued to teach. When Jim was hired by Owens-Corning, they relocated here and Toledo became their home.
“After teaching another three years at Lake Local High School, I was ready for a career change,” said Pam, “so I earned my J.D. at The University of Toledo College of Law and became a staff attorney in the Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals. Then I took a position as in-house counsel at Libbey-Owens-Ford Company. I worked in corporate securities and other legal areas for the rest of my career eventually retiring from Dana Corporation.”
Strategic and financial planning was a continuing thread for Jim’s career, as he moved from Owens-Corning to Arthur Young and then on to independent consulting and running his own business.
With no children or close relatives who might personally benefit from their estate, it’s not surprising that the Fletchers looked to TCF as a resource to accomplish their estate planning goals. “I knew of the Foundation through my friendship with the former executive director, Pam Howell-Beach.
We worked together for a number of years as members of the Toledo chapter of Zonta, an international executive and professional women’s service organization,” Pam recalls.
The Fletchers had given some thought about how to structure their fund. “We didn’t think single one-time bequests would be as useful to the organizations we support as a continuing stream of revenue,” said Pam. Jim agreed, noting, “With our Fund, every year when distributions are made, we will be remembered as benefactors by those organizations we care about.”
“With our Fund, every year when distributions are made, we will be remembered as benefactors by those organizations we care about.” - Jim Fletcher
They both appreciated how convenient it was to establish their fund. “The amount of our estate wouldn’t justify the cost and effort of setting up an endowment fund on our own — but with a Toledo Community Foundation fund, the work was done for us. The whole process was easy. We didn’t have to pay a fee to make it happen and there was no requirement to commit a specific dollar amount,” said Jim. “We didn’t want to lose control of our assets during our lifetimes — and with our Legacy Fund, we won’t. All we had to do was work with TCF staff to set up the fund. One meeting and some paperwork, and it was done.”
The Fletchers’ Legacy Fund will ensure that local and national causes dear to their hearts will benefit from their generosity for many years to come. As Jim observed, “Now, when I listen to public radio and hear announcements crediting the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for their support, I think ‘and we’ve got the Pam and Jim Fletcher Fund at the Toledo Community Foundation.’”