One of the most important tasks facing any of us is preparing an estate plan to ensure that our legacy lives on after we are gone. For many people, part of the estate planning process involves a desire to reinforce a philanthropic legacy through charitable giving or tithing.
Charitable giving or tithing is beneficial all around; It benefits organizations in need, is personally fulfilling, and oftentimes accounts for tax breaks. No matter what motivates you to give, however, incorporating philanthropy into your estate plan takes some forethought. If you have a desire to incorporate charitable giving into your financial plan, here are some steps you should consider taking.
Discuss giving with your family
The first step you should take is to open up a candid conversation amongst family members. How does everyone feel about your faith-based or philanthropic contribution goals? Is everyone on the same page? Be sure to be open and honest so that everyone feels like they are included and have a voice.
Choose causes that are meaningful to you
Once the conversation has been had with your family, it's time to choose your cause(s). The gift of wealth can be truly powerful, so it's important to make sure your gift aligns with your values. Are you deeply invested in your faith? Perhaps you'd like to donate annually to your church. Maybe you want to give back to the community. Consider donating to an after-school program, a homeless outreach program, or a local clinic. Wherever your money goes, make sure it feels right.
A tip for making sure the whole family feels involved in the process, sit down together and have each family member provide an organization or two that is meaningful to them. Get a discussion going and ultimately make a group choice as to where your donation(s) will go.
Make a plan with your financial advisor
Next, it's time to consult your financial advisor. Depending on your financial situation, be sure to consider various options, such as a donor-advised fund, a charitable trust, or qualified charitable distribution. Be honest and open with your advisor about how you intend to give, listen to their feedback and advice, and work together to ensure that you are satisfied with how your charitable contributions fit into your overall financial plan.
Educate your future generations
Don't end it at that. In order to ensure that the tradition of philanthropy lives on with your legacy, you must pass the torch to your future generations of family stewards. Teach them strong values, involve them in important decisions, and always keep the line of communication open.
Let's face it - giving back feels good. At Triada, we believe that the right wealth management plan is one that reflects your changing goals, resulting in genuine happiness and fulfillment. If your goals include incorporating charitable giving into your financial plan, we'd love to speak more with you. Schedule a meeting with an advisor today.
The information provided here is for general information only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision. This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax or legal advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific situation with a qualified tax or legal advisor.