Black Women Will Legacy Week: A Juneteenth Celebration Of Estate Planning And Wealth Transfer

The Thank Me Later Foundation (TMLF) is gearing up for their highly anticipated Black Women Will Legacy Week, a weeklong celebration dedicated to empowering Black families through estate planning and financial education. 

This event, supported by a generous $25,000 grant from Bank of America (BofA), will run from Monday, June 17th to Sunday, June 23rd, concluding with the 4th annual Black Women Will Homecoming event on November 16th. 

“We share the mission of The Thank Me Later Foundation to preserve wealth in the Black community, which is why we directed this strategic philanthropic investment in the Black Women Will event,” Al McRae, president, Bank of America Atlanta, said. “This grant represents our commitment to fostering economic growth and wealth preservation in our city.”

Jini Thornton, CPA and Executive Director of TMLF says, “Bank of America has been a supporter since year one. They have really been boots on the ground with us, too. They are our largest volunteer based organization so they really show up, sign up, roll their sleeves up and get to work and support our organization.”

More than 70% of Black individuals living in America don’t have some form of estate planning in place. TMLF has made it their mission to help Black families secure their financial futures and pass on generational wealth.

Thornton, a native of Rochester, New York, is the driving force behind TMLF and the BWW initiative. In an exclusive interview with ADW, Thornton shared, “Black Women Will started because of the number of people I would hear from through radio. When someone would pass away, people would reach out to me and they were lost, and they didn’t know what to do. This initiative aims to normalize estate planning in our community and ensure our families are protected.”

The Black Women Will (BWW) initiative focuses on aiding Black female homeowners in Georgia in preparing to transfer assets worth over $87 million by finalizing their wills and healthcare directives. This year, TMLF aims to assist 250 women in a single day at the Homecoming event in Atlanta. 

This effort is made possible through partnerships with Atlanta Legal Aid, The Georgia Association Of Black Women Attorneys Foundation, The Georgia Association of Paralegals, and The Fulton County Probate Court. Over 100 attorneys from more than 80 local law firms, alongside paralegals, notaries, and volunteers, will provide robust support for attendees.

Right now is the most pivotal time for Black Americans to take estate planning seriously.  In the next 25 years, U.S. households will transfer an estimated $68 trillion to heirs and charities. Without proper estate planning, many Black families risk losing generational wealth. 

The BWW initiative tackles this issue, having already completed 296 wills and healthcare directives, securing over $108 million in assets for future generations.

The Black Women Will Homecoming event stands out by combining the serious task of will preparation with the festive atmosphere of an HBCU Homecoming. Participants are celebrated for taking proactive steps in legacy planning, turning a potentially somber task into a motivational and empowering experience.

During Black Women Will Legacy Week, TMLF will open applications for women to complete their wills and healthcare directives, starting on Juneteenth. 

Additional activities include:

-Daily Online Challenge: Engaging participants in practical steps to organize their important documents and contacts.

-Virtual Workshop: “The Roadmap To Complete Your Will” will be held on Tuesday, June 18th at 7 pm ET via Zoom, providing essential guidance on the estate planning process.

-Community Engagement: Participation in a Juneteenth parade and festival on Saturday, June 22nd, promoting the importance of estate planning.

Black Women Will Legacy Week is certainly a movement towards financial empowerment and generational wealth transfer within the Black community. Through education, celebration, and proactive planning, the Thank Me Later Foundation is transforming the narrative around estate planning and creating a legacy of prosperity and preparedness.

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