Talking to Your Clients About Charitable Planning
Download as a PDF >>
Some advisors are reluctant to begin a conversation about charitable giving with their client, and may be concerned about appearing to make a values judgment, especially if the client has not expressed charitable intentions.
However, by not broaching the subject of charitable giving, a significant opportunity may be lost for your client and the community. In fact, many individuals expect their advisors to bring up the subject, when appropriate, and assume charitable giving is not an option if the subject is not raised. By helping clients identify the big picture you will be in a better position to advise them on the most advantageous tax-reduction options to meet their estate and financial planning goals.
Talking about a client’s philanthropic intentions is a natural extension of preparing or updating a will, planning for retirement, drafting a business succession plan or preparing tax returns. Many advisors welcome suggestions for ways to comfortably and effectively raise the charitable discussion with their clients.
Questions facilitate the charitable conversation
- Do you currently support any charitable organizations, either by volunteering or by giving financially?
- Are you interested in supporting those organizations after your death?
- Have you thought about the kind of personal legacy you want to leave behind for your family or community?
- Would you be interested in exploring ways to support your community, if you could still leave a substantial portion of your estate to your children?
- Would you be interested in exploring ways to support your community, if you could significantly reduce your income or estate taxes?
- Some clients are interested in passing along more than money to their children. Would you be interested in learning how philanthropy can be used to pass on your family’s values?
- If your estate proves to be larger than the amount you planned to leave your children, would you consider making a charitable gift with the excess?
- Would you consider adding a charitable provision to your estate plans should your spouse and/or children not survive you?
- Would you consider leaving your retirement accounts to charity as a tax-planning strategy?
- If someone with expertise in this area could help you identify charities that are worthy of your support, would you be interested in exploring some charitable planning ideas?