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Spring Cleaning: How to help clients organize their charitable giving

Spring Cleaning: How to help clients organize their charitable giving

Now that most of your clients' 2022 tax filings are done, this may be a good time to take proactive steps to avoid being in this same spot next year.

The subject of gathering up tax receipts for charitable donations is often a prompt for clients to get organized with the rest of their financial lives, too. At the very least, the subject of charitable giving can pave the way for a discussion about the basics of estate planning. Many clients are simply not aware of the meaning and importance of critical elements, such as:

  • The difference between a will and a living trust and how charitable wishes fit in to these documents
  • Why it’s critical to be intentional about how each and every asset is titled so that the assets actually pass as intended (which requires making a comprehensive list of assets in the first place)
  • The dangers of hurriedly filling out life insurance and retirement plan beneficiary designations and why these documents are absolutely critical components of a financial, estate, and charitable plan
  • Reasons for having both a “living will” and a durable power of attorney, both of which (or the lack thereof) have a major impact in the event of incapacity
  • A reminder to make sure someone in the family knows where to find a list of logins and passwords

Charitable planning is one of many steps in your work with clients, but it can be an excellent catalyst for helping clients understand why they need that comprehensive estate and financial plan you’ve been encouraging them to complete.

Our team at Hawai‘i Community Foundation is happy to partner with you to service your clients. Contact Jen-L W. Lyman, Senior Director of Gift Planning and Advisor Relations, at (808) 566-5596 or jlyman@hcf-hawaii.org.