Dean Hara

Advocate Uses Planned Giving Tool to Benefit Gay Rights

Dean Hara is the widower of Congressman Gerry E. Studds. He’s a plaintiff in a lawsuit now before the U.S. Supreme Court that seeks to overturn the federal Defense of Marriage Act. And he’s an advisor and contributor to the Boston Foundation’s new Equality Fund, created last year to advance equitable treatment for LGBTQ – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer – people and their families in Greater Boston.


So it is particularly important to him to be able to provide a permanent source of support for the cause so dear to him. He has named the Permanent Fund for Boston as a successor to the Congressman Gerry E. Studds Donor Advised Fund, which he set up to honor his husband shortly after he died suddenly in 2006.

“Nobody wants to deal with estate planning issues or to think about these things, but it’s important,” says Mr. Hara, who as a financial planner sees firsthand how difficult it can be for people to face up to their own mortality. He has structured his estate so that when he passes away, the bulk of it will flow into the Congressman Gerry E. Studds Fund, which will be renamed for both men. Then one-quarter of the fund will be distributed each year to the Permanent Fund for Boston, designated specifically for the Equality Fund.

“I’ve seen how the needs of the community have changed in the last 30 years,” he says. “It is impossible to foresee what the most pressing needs of the LGBTQ community will be 50 or 100 years from now, but the Boston Foundation will be here to respond. The world changes, so if you’re going to leave money and want it to help somebody over a period of time, the Boston Foundation will keep it relevant.”