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Charitable Giving: 5 Key Questions The Pros Ask

When you attain a level of financial security where you feel the freedom to devote resources to causes and organizations that you value, it’s worthwhile to take time to think, dream, and plan before you give. Reflecting on your underlying motivations to give can lead to more effective and focused philanthropy and ensure that you work toward achieving your desired legacy.

The decision of how much to give, to which causes, when, and the appropriate charitable vehicles, flow naturally from the reasons you wish to give.

In our practices, we note that many charitably inclined families say that their desire to give comes from feeling deeply connected to others who share similar life experiences. Ultimately, your beliefs about giving are rooted in your values and ideas on how your generosity can make a difference in the lives of others – today, and in the future. We’ve met with clients whose motivations for giving range from deep personal satisfaction to highly practical, such as a tax deduction.

Inspire Philanthropic Values in Children

Some of our clients use charitable giving as a way to strengthen family values, preserve family identity across generations, and teach children and grandchildren to be more caring and responsible.

Here are 5 key questions to help you explore charitable giving:

■ Why do you desire to give?

■ What activities and organizations reflect your values and goals? Are you giving to them now?

■ Is it important to you that your family be involved in your philanthropy?

■ How can you involve family members in the charitable giving process?

■ Are you concerned with the influence that significant wealth may have on younger family members?

Remember, developing a philanthropic plan is only one part of a comprehensive wealth management. After clarifying your basic motivations and your true philanthropic interests, your personal attorney, accountant and financial advisor can help you examine how your personal and charitable goals fit into the context of your financial picture, tax situation, retirement and estate planning, and your family’s need for income. Looking at the entire picture helps you decide if making substantial gifts to charity may or may not be appropriate in your personal situation, and helps your advisors define the proper legal structure(s) and gift vehicle(s) to use.

When you are inspired to give, and giving is suited to your overall financial objectives, creating a  wealth transfer plan and charitable giving strategy that is engaging, effective and focused on what really matters to you is a remarkable way to LIVE MORE and GIVE MORE®. 

We believe that philanthropic giving is personalized and unique to every individual. Working with you and your other advisors, we help you determine how best to work toward your objectives and implement your charitable giving strategy. Begin with a Wealth Impact Assessment, contact us here to schedule yours today. 

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