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Ford Lacy & Cece Smith

Ford Lacy and Cece Smith Plan Their Community Legacy

“You can’t take it with you!” is the first thing Ford Lacy said when we asked what spurred him and his wife, Cece Smith, to plan in advance how they would give to charity through their wills.

As an attorney and venture capitalist, they were romanced by the idea of spending down their net worth while living, but practically, that’s pretty difficult to do.

“It’s a fun idea to be able to die with a negative net worth, but that’s hard to plan on,” says Ford Lacy. “Assuming there is something left, we thought working with Communities Foundation of Texas would be a good way to address that issue.”

As Cece and Ford started their estate planning process, they came to Communities Foundation of Texas for assistance with their planned giving, and during the process, they decided to open a donor-advised fund to structure their giving now as well.

“You have to support your charitable interests or the groups doing the work won’t be there,” says Ford. “The things we support are the things we are interested in and are involved in—for example, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Opera, Dallas Museum of Art and UT Southwestern. We don’t usually give abstract gifts; usually we’ve made a real investment through participation and volunteering first.”

“Cece and Ford are incredibly intentional in their strategy,” says Susan Swan Smith, chief giving day officer at Communities Foundation of Texas. “They’re sophisticated in their questions and expectations. It’s been an honor to work actively with them now as well as to help them plan their philanthropic legacy.”

For assistance in developing a giving strategy that is consistent with your charitable goals, contact Carolyn Newham, Senior Director of Donor Relations and Services at 214-750-4146 or cnewham@cftexas.org.

Carolyn A. Newham, J.D.
Carolyn A. Newham, J.D.
General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

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