1. Think about the causes that have been important to you and that you'd most like to help. Maybe you or someone you know has benefited from the service of a particular organization. Maybe you're an active volunteer or believer in the mission of a specific organization. You might want to leave a gift in memory of a loved one or for a specific use.

2. Call the non-profit group of your choice. It can tell you more about what it does, what opportunities are available for giving and how your gift will allow it to continue its good works.

3. Review the list of LEAVE A LEGACY® Western New York Non Profit Partners as a sampling of non-profit organizations who support our message.

4. Contact your professional advisor for help. An advisor can make sure you are getting the maximum tax and legal advantages allowed for your gift. If you do not have one and need a referral, ask your friends or colleagues whom they have used. Below are some questions to ask an advisor during your selection process.

Questions to ask a prospective advisor

1. What is your typical client like, and what are your areas of expertise? How do you prepare a plan?

2. How often will we meet once the plan is implemented and how much will the sessions cost?

3. Ask for a written agreement that outlines the services you will receive and how much they will cost.

How to contact specific professional associations Attorneys:

Bar Association of Erie County (716-852-8687)

Bar Association of Erie County Lawyer Referral Service (716-852-3100)

Bar Association of the Tonawandas

Lockport Bar Association

Niagara Falls Bar Association

Genesee County Bar Association

New York State Bar Association (800-582-2452)

New York State Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service (800-582-2452)

CPA's with a specialty in financial/estate planning:

Estate Analysts of Western New York

American Institute of CPAs (888-999-9256)

Financial Planners:

Institute of Certified Financial Planners (800-282-7526)

International Association of Financial Planners (888-806-7526)

National Association of Personal Financial Advisers (888-333-6659)

Contact phone numbers to confirm the advisor's regulatory record and financial disclosure forms:

Security Exchange Commission (800-846-2722)

North American Securities Administrators Associations (888-846-2722) to check on your adviser

National Association of Securities Dealers Regulation (800-289-9999) to check on your broker

The National Fraud Exchange will check an adviser for a fee of $40; contact number (800-822-0416, ext. 33)