Legacy Circle: Make Your Own History


legacy-circle---Frank and Judy Wilhelme

“We want the HSM to be here another 100 years on top of its nearly 200 years of existence already…The endowment is kind of a ballast in your ship as you chart the course for the future of a non-profit organization.”
—Frank and Judy Wilhelme, Legacy Circle Members

Read Frank and Judy’s full testimonial story.


“I want to help HSM flourish in the future. It’s important to me for these things to continue on after I’ve passed on. It’s a way of providing more fulfillment in my life. I believe it is extremely important for everyone to do some estate planning.”
—Bob Cayia, Legacy Circle Member

Read Bob’s full testimonial story.


“It is important that history keep going. Knowing our roots is important to knowing who you are today and providing a key to the past for future generations.”
—Deborah Remer, Legacy Circle Member

Read Deborah’s full testimonial story.

Members of HSM’s Legacy Circle

Robert Cayia of Valparaiso, IN

Ralph G. Coulter of Flint, MI*

Jack and Clarice Engelhart of Clio, MI

Gary and Carol Higgins of Corunna, MI

Maxine S. Lahti of Chelsea, MI*

John and Janet Nellis Mendler of Pinckney, MI

Gerald Nyquist of Macomb Township, MI

Jeff Offenhauser, Traverse City, MI

Jean Ann Olsen of Stambaugh, MI*

Joseph F. Perisa of Flint, MI*

Albert A. Preston of Grand Rapids, MI*

Deborah Remer of Shelby Township, MI

Monika Richter of Warren, MI*

Richard and Ruth Santer of Grand Rapids (formerly of Big Rapids), MI

Joseph Taylor of Grand Rapids, MI

David Trebing of Okemos, MI

James K. and Janet W. Watkins of Grand Rapids, MI

Frank and Judy Wilhelme of Ann Arbor, MI

Kendall and Molly Wingrove of Okemos, MI

Anonymous, of Ann Arbor, MI

Anonymous, of Beverly Hills, MI

Anonymous, of Kalamazoo, MI


Updated December 17, 2020

It’s Easy to Join the Legacy Circle

The Historical Society of Michigan (HSM) is the state’s oldest cultural organization, founded in 1828. Its Legacy Circle was established in 2013 to recognize people who have included HSM in their wills, living trusts, and other estate-planning vehicles. It is not just for people with great wealth—it is for everyone who values history. Even a small gift can make a big difference.

four-generations-of-menWe thank those who have donated over many years to help expand the Society’s programs and services. It makes sense to continue to support a cause you are passionate about. A Legacy Circle gift has the advantage of not coming out of a person’s day-to-day cash flow, and yet it provides the gift of understanding history to future generations. It also may reduce tax liabilities.

Simply complete the form below to let us know that you have become a Legacy Circle member by remembering HSM in your estate plan. As you work out the details, we encourage you to consult with a financial advisor or estate-planning attorney to determine the best options for you.

I would like more information about the Legacy Circle.

If you have included the Historical Society of Michigan in your estate plans, we would love to hear about it.

See how you can make a difference.

Here’s How to Do Itdaughter-hugging-grandmother

There are lots of ways to leave a legacy gift to HSM. Here are some examples of the most common ways to join the Legacy Circle:

  • Bequest in will or trust
  • Life insurance policy beneficiary
  • Retirement fund [e.g., IRA, 401(k)] beneficiary
  • Health Savings Account (HSA) beneficiary
  • Gift of appreciated stock
  • Gift of real estate (under certain conditions)
  • Gift of artwork
  • Designate a percentage of what is left in your estate to HSM

How Will My Gift Be Used?

That’s up to you. You can decide whether you want your planned gift to be:

  • Unrestricted, which allows the Society to determine how best to use your gift at the time it is received
  • Restricted, which means you have designated that your contribution benefit a specific program or purpose (such as our endowment fund)

Sample Language for Charitable Bequests

Bequests may be specific, proportional, or residual. Here is some sample language to share with your estate-planning advisor:

Specific Bequest

I give and bequeath to the Historical Society of Michigan (Fed. ID. #38-1452689), 7435 Westshire Drive, Lansing, MI 48917, the sum of $ _________ [or specific property]* to be used for its general purposes.

*To maximize tax savings, consider a gift of savings bonds, individual retirement accounts, or other tax-deferred retirement funds.

Percentage Bequest

I give and bequeath to the Historical Society of Michigan (Fed. ID. #38-1452689), 7435 Westshire Drive, Lansing, MI 48917, _________% of my residuary estate to be used for its general purposes.

Residuary Bequest

I give and bequeath to the Historical Society of Michigan (Fed. ID. #38-1452689), 7435 Westshire Drive, Lansing, MI 48917, the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate to be used for its general purposes.


Historical Society of Michigan 7435 Westshire Dr., Lansing MI 48917
Email hsm@hsmichigan.org | Phone (517) 324-1828 | Fax (517) 324-4370

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