Skip to main content
Community Foundation of Northern Nevada Logo

Educating the Community: Estate Planning Series Going Strong in its 12th Year

Back of man standing at a podium with an open laptop, looking out into a medium size audience in an auditorium.

Guest Column by Jamie Klund
Development and Grants Officer

In November, the popular Family Estate Planning Series completed the Fall 2021 edition of the eight-week program that is now in its 12th year. The series is presented twice a year, co-presented by PBS Reno and the Community Foundation of Northern Nevada. It returned to in-person classes after being offered via Zoom due to the pandemic for the previous two offerings.

Eighty-five attendees took part this fall at Reno’s Sierra View Library through 90-minute sessions. With the help of 14 non-profit sponsors, the series is offered to the public without charge and includes a large binder with course materials, check lists, a planning guide, a glossary of terms and much more.

Participant survey results demonstrated just how valuable the series is – giving it an average rating of 4.9 on a scale of 1 to 5. Further, 100% of the respondents said they learned something new from the nonprofit sponsors, whose five-minute, in-person informational presentations rotate throughout the eight weeks. All survey respondents also indicated they would refer or already had referred a friend or family member to attend the series. 

What continues to be impressive and gratifying year after year – over the course of 23 editions of the series now – is just how much the participants learn by attending the program. Based on the evaluations, the degree of knowledge reported by Fall 2021 attendees was 2.5 prior to taking the class and 4.4 at the conclusion of the series. That’s almost a two-point improvement! With the series’ goal to better prepare attendees to leave a meaningful legacy, 95% said they are now better prepared to do so through their estate planning.

Each of the eight presenters were mentioned at least once as being the most knowledgeable speaker and three of them had double-digit responses as being the most knowledgeable, indicating an appreciation of the expertise of the speakers. All but one respondent said they will create or change their will and/or trust, with that one being neutral, and all but three said they would hire an attorney to create their will and/or trust. Strong attendance amid the pandemic's uncertainty reflected the strength of the program: The average session attendance over the eight weeks was 65 participants, and the five-year average attendance is 87.

The spring classes are set for March 16 through May 4, 2022, over eight consecutive Wednesdays, with 90-minute sessions offered at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. To register for the spring classes, email Jamie Klund, Community Foundation Grants and Development Officer, at Please indicate how many in the household will attend and whether you want morning or afternoon classes.

I want to add a special thanks to our non-profit sponsors for making the program possible: the Boys and Girls Club of the Truckee Meadows, The Children’s Cabinet, Food Bank of Northern Nevada, Girl Scouts of the Sierra Nevada, KUNR-KNCJ Radio, Nevada Land Trust, Nevada Humane Society, Northern Nevada Hopes, Renown Health Foundation, SPCA of Northern Nevada, Tahoe-Pyramid Trail, TMCC Foundation, United Way of Northern Nevada and the Sierra and the Washoe County Library System. We look forward to seeing you at the Spring 2022 Family Estate Planning Series!

The Community Foundation of Northern Nevada is strengthening our community through philanthropy and leadership by connecting people who care with causes that matter.

Dec. 4, 2021