Ben Franklin once said, “In this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes.” The Mackinac Center is trying to do something about the taxes, but when I think of our mortality, another old adage comes to mind: “The shade we enjoy today comes from trees planted by others long ago.”

This simple proverb emphasizes the importance of acting now to nurture the ideals that benefit future generations, even after we are gone. The best gift we can leave them is the promise of individual liberty and economic opportunity — the very things the Mackinac Center fights for every day.

You can help us today in our future battles for America’s legacy of freedom through deferred gifts bequeathed through your estate. They can be any asset you own — usually life insurance, stocks, real estate, retirement plans — or a direct bequest through a will, revocable trust or charitable trust. Bequests to the Center can even help reduce the estate taxes that devour huge portions of your hard-earned assets.

Everyone benefits. You will know that your assets will promote the ideals you hold dear, rather than provide tax income for ever-bigger government. We will gain important resources in the ongoing struggle for a freer society. And future generations will benefit from your down payment on a better world.

Please know that we will work with you now to ensure that your bequest to the Mackinac Center will be used precisely as you wish in the future. Also know that any deferred gift you give will be acknowledged in person and earn you entry in our newly formed Legacy Society, established to recognize contributors — such as Jim Rodney, featured above — who are empowering us to plan far into the future.

We are all-too-mortal and far too taxed, but I invite you to join the Center in transcending both. Help ensure the tree of liberty provides shelter for generations to come.

If you would like to discuss a bequest to the Mackinac Center, please contact us at (989) 631-0900.

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John E. Coonradt is vice president for advancement at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a research and educational institute headquartered in Midland, Mich.