How You Can Help
For Professional Advisors
The professional advisor plays a unique role in helping clients realize their philanthropic goals. Charitable planning can be one of the most satisfying areas in which an advisor can practice. This is the opportunity for professional advisors to do what they do best — identify creative solutions that will help their clients achieve their financial objectives, provide for their family and develop their charitable legacy.
As an advisor, your first duty is to your clients. This responsibility means helping them uncover their goals and priorities, including charitable goals. The most successful approaches endeavor to educate clients about the costs, benefits, risks and rewards of charitable planning.
Detailed explanations of the various planning vehicles, illustrations and schedules can all aid in conveying this information. It is important to discuss with your clients and agree upon assumptions, including rates of return, inflation and life expectancy. Using software that can predict the probability of what the client considers a successful outcome is helpful. The client can then make an informed decision.
Some professional advisors are reluctant to discuss charitable planning with their clients because they equate this area of planning with soliciting the client for a charitable gift. Some professional advisors feel uncomfortable talking about charitable giving unless the client raises the subject first. This dilemma is resolved as soon as charitable planning strategies are seen as a critical piece of the overall planning process.
Taking an active approach builds deeper, richer client relationships, enhances client loyalty, and results in better service. It positions the advisor and the firm to be civic-minded.
Earning a reputation in the community as the attorney, CPA, financial advisor, trust officer or broker who cares about philanthropic planning is rewarding in so many ways. What is most important is that the professional advisor be knowledgeable about the many ways charitable planning options can help solve everyday tax, estate, and financial planning issues while adding value to the client’s family and the community.
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