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Endowment given to Michigan university honors park ranger

While most people think of family members as the beneficiaries of an estate, there are some instances in which other people or entities might be part of an estate plan. Some people choose to leave money for a favorite charity, while others choose to leave assets to a house of worship. In some cases, people might choose to leave behind a gift to an institute of learning in their estate planning documents. One example of how including charitable donations in an estate plan is the Joseph and Bonnie Halvorsen Memorial Endowment.

The endowment is available to students with at least 26 credits at Lake Superior State University. The student must be studying fisheries and wildlife management, environmental sciences, conservation biology, natural resources technology or parks and recreation. Students who have an interest in working for the Department of Natural Resources or the National Park Service are given preference for the scholarships.

Named after a man who devoted his life to Michigan's DNR, the scholarship was created in an effort to emphasize the importance of higher education. The namesake of the endowment often thought that he wasn't advancing as much during his time with the DNR as he could if he had a degree. This scholarship was made to give others a chance to get the degree that will enable them to advance.

This man's family opted to start a scholarship to acknowledge their loved ones. Anyone who is making an estate plan and wants to do something similar must ensure that their wishes are conveyed in accordance with state laws so the institute of higher learning can legally accept the gift when the time comes.

Source: Sault Ste. Marie Evening News, "Family’s endowment will make park rangers happen" No author given, May. 29, 2014

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