Since the 2017 Tax and Jobs Act passed, more advisors and clients have discussed charitable planning than they had previously. The recent column, “How Advisors Benefit from Having Charitable Conversation with Clients,” covers why this discussion has been taking place so often.

Though in the past, some advisors feared that talking about charitable giving may decrease the assets they manage for a client, today most advisors now understand how the conversation deepens relationships and brings in additional AUM.

As a result of these discussions over the past few years, many clients are now more effectively donating either directly to their favorite non-profits or creating or additionally funding their donor-advised fund accounts or other charitable vehicles.

Other advisors, however, have not yet engaged their clients in these conversations, perhaps because they may not realize how much their clients need their help or they fear that their clients may not be receptive to the discussion. The advisors need not worry since nearly all HNW clients give to charity and will appreciate their input if this can help them give more efficiently and with greater impact.

Some of the situations or challenges clients face and how advisors can help them include:

1. They may not realize that other assets besides checks or credit card payments can and often should be the source for their charitable donations.

2. They may be missing significant tax benefits through annual and estate giving.

3. They can give even more to charity, give more to their family or keep more themselves.

4. They want to maintain their level of giving annually to their favorite charities but find that to be difficult when their income varies from year to year.

5. They are approaching retirement within the next five to 15 years and want to continue to donate then, but fear they may not have enough income at that time or the tax advantages of giving when their income is less may not be as beneficial.

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