SPOTLIGHT ON MARK SESSUMS – A LEADER IN PLANNED GIVING
AAML Fellow Mark A. Sessums is leading with his time, talent and treasure in the AAML Foundation. Mark is the assistant Treasurer for the Foundation; is co-chair of the Fundraising Committee and serves on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors. While Mark A. Sessums is also President of the AAML Florida Chapter and has served in leadership in many state bar and philanthropic organizations, Mark is very proud of his involvement in the Foundation. “Practicing family law is a labor of love and giving back to those most in need of services related to family law makes me very proud.” Therefore, it is no surprise that shortly after becoming a Director of the AAML Foundation Board, Mark answered the call by making a Planned Gift to the AAML Foundation Benefactors Society. Mark agreed to share his motivation in making a Planned Gift to the Foundation through the following interview:
HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN THE AAML FOUNDATION?
I learned about the work of the Foundation when I clerked for the late Mel Frumkes. Mel was an avid supporter of the Foundation and had a generous heart and a soft place for the good works of the Foundation. My father, Steve Sessums, was a supporter of the Foundation and encouraged me to support the Foundation. Then Jorge Cestero invited me to a Foundation Lifetime Members Luncheon where a Foundation grant recipient was the featured speaker. The impact of the Foundation grants funded by donations became alive and real as I heard the meaningful difference the grants make to the constituency of our practice. My commitment to the work of the Foundation was solidified in that moment and I immediately became a Lifetime Member.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO MAKE A PLANED GIFT TO THE FOUNDATION?
My wife Susan and I have been involved in many charities over the years. I have been blessed with a very successful practice and a beautiful family including my adult sons Alex and Josh, and my daughters Mia and Amelie. Susan and I embrace the philosophy that for those to whom much has been given, much is required. Each time I hear a grant recipient speak at a Foundation event, it brings home the great need among our grant recipients and the profound impact our gifts make. A planned gift ensures the long-term success of the Foundation grants.
YOU HAVE A YOUNG FAMILY. DID THAT GIVE YOU ANY PAUSE IN MAKING A PLANNED GIFT?
Susan and I have otherwise provided for our children so that we don’t believe our planned gift will impact our children negatively. We have confidence in the future. Making a planned gift is really a matter of will. In our case, we selected a planned gift in an amount that we felt was meaningful to support the work of the Foundation.
WHAT WAS INVOLVED IN MAKING YOUR PLANNED GIFT?
Easy. We changed the beneficiary designation on one of our life insurance policies. There was no need to consult an estate planning attorney or change estate planning documents. We simply obtained and signed a beneficiary designation form with Northwestern Life Insurance company.
WHAT CAN YOU TELL OTHERS WHO ARE CONTEMPLATING A PLANNED GIFT TO THE FOUNDATION?
For anyone who has any question about the impact of your donation, attend a Foundation Lifetime Member Luncheon and review the Foundation’s annual report. The report encapsulates why supporting the work of the Foundation is so important to us as Family Law Practitioners. A Planned Gift is a legacy you can leave to ensure that the charitable mission both grows and continues long into the future.