Legacy Circle

Members of DRA’s Legacy Circle make a bequest to DRA because they believe in equal opportunity for all and want to leave a civil rights legacy. Legacy Circle members ensure DRA’s longevity: because people with disabilities will always need a good lawyer—protecting your rights to employment, education, commerce, transportation, healthcare, and all aspects of mainstream American life.

Join DRA’s Legacy Circle today and invest in a future where all of us—regardless of age or ability—can participate as contributing members of American society.

Why DRA Needs Bequests

Bequests are one of the easiest, most effective ways of giving to DRA.  They help DRA pursue the high-impact, class-action cases on behalf of people with disabilities that other firms won’t.  While DRA does receive attorney’s fees for some legal victories, these fees are not predictable or adequate to sustain DRA’s important legal work year after year.  That’s why your bequest is critical.

Your bequest allows DRA to consistently represent the most vulnerable citizens and, as society and technology evolve, continue creating systematic, inclusive change.  Your bequest also ensures that DRA builds future generations of public interest lawyers through its two-year legal fellowship programs.

Through your estate, life insurance, or retirement plan, you can provide general support to DRA or fund a specific fellowship or program.

How to Make a Bequest to DRA

To make a bequest and join DRA’s Legacy Circle you can name DRA as a beneficiary in your will or trust, designating the gift of your choice (cash, real estate, personal property, securities, etc.).  You maintain control of your assets during your lifetime and possibly save on estate taxes.

When meeting with your estate-planning attorney, consider the ways you can make your DRA bequest:

  • A specific bequest directs a dollar amount or particular assets, such as securities, real estate, or tangible personal property to DRA.
  • A residuary bequest directs all or a percentage of the remainder of your estate to DRA, after specific amounts bequeathed to other beneficiaries are distributed and estate-related expenses are paid.
  • You can designate DRA as a beneficiary of your retirement plan or life insurance policy—which can save considerably on taxes.

Because DRA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, retirement assets such as IRAs, tax-sheltered annuities, or qualified pensions can pass to it without taxation. 

All gifts, of any amount, make a difference for DRA and people with disabilities across the nation. Consider how a bequest can assure your own civil rights legacy. 

If you are looking for a lawyer in your area, we can assist you with names of experienced estate planning attorneys.  Many will schedule a complimentary first meeting with you to discuss your needs.

Please contact Managing Director of Development & Operations Kate Hamilton at 510-665-8644 or khamilton@dralegal.org for more information or to discuss other ways to leave a civil rights legacy.

Sample language to add DRA into your estate plan:

General operating support

I give ___ percent of my estate, or description of asset, or ___ dollars to Disability Rights Advocates, a nonprofit corporation for its general use.

Restricted to a specific program or area

I give ___ percent of my estate, or description of asset, or ___ dollars to Disability Rights Advocates, a nonprofit corporation for the restricted purpose of _________. If, in the future, the Board of Directors of DRA determines that the restriction placed herein would result in an impracticable use of the bequest, it may designate another pupose for its use that most nearly accomplishes my wishes.

Legacy Circle Member Testimonials

Portrait of Mike Stanley
Portrait of Mike Stanley

“I’ve been involved with DRA for more than a decade.  This organization packs a punch! I’ve seen DRA improve access to health care, sidewalks, public transportation, and education—benefitting me and millions of people across the country.  The world is evolving quickly and DRA is always ahead of the curve—ensuring accessible cutting edge technologies and training the brightest young lawyers to continue the work.  There will always be a need for DRA.  I made a bequest to DRA because I want to make sure that the civil rights of people with disabilities are protected—for generations to come.” -Mike Stanley, Former DRA Board member

Portrait of  Brian Frumkin
Portrait of Brian Frumkin

“I’ve included DRA in my estate plans because I’ve seen firsthand how DRA has transformed the landscape for people with disabilities through skillful legal work. I want to leave a legacy of inclusion and I want to ensure that DRA will always be there—ensuring access for people with disabilities as society continues to evolve and change.” –Brian Frumkin, DRA Board member