Financial advisors, certified public accountants and attorneys are the go-to professionals who can guide you if you’re interested in the charitable giving process. They not only help you navigate the forces of growing personal wealth they also assist in maneuvering you through the technicalities of the giving process and help you obtain optimal tax benefits. All three groups of professionals specialize in different parts of the process as they support your desire to make a difference through giving. A financial advisor is the “big-picture” professional who guides you through how charitable giving can be part of your overall financial plan.
A certified public accountant will help you maximize any tax benefits of donating to charities where an attorney is necessary in estate planning. When selecting an advisor, find out what other types of clients they have and make sure they can relate to you and your goals.
A financial advisor with expertise in philanthropy can help you incorporate charitable giving into your financial planning and help you take it to the next level. They add value by helping you increase the impact of your philanthropy by developing a giving plan and help you set your priorities in giving. They can support your “big ideas” by helping you set up a charitable donation strategy that spans current and future generations.
Tips on hiring a financial advisor:
A Certified Public Accountant (“CPA”) can add value in the charitable giving process because they have deep knowledge of their clients’ financial situations and understand both the tax benefits of giving as well as how charitable strategies can fit into the client’s overall financial picture. They can help you avoid charitable-giving mistakes such as improper tax deductions and can direct you to types of giving other than direct cash donations. This could include such things as donating publicly traded securities. CPAs can also be effective in advising on the ways to give including the development of a charitable giving strategy to maximize current and future income tax benefits.
Attorneys who are knowledgeable in areas such as wills or estate planning can be helpful in developing a charitable-giving strategy. They can help clients create a giving plan not only for their lifetime but one that lasts in perpetuity.
Through vehicles such as charitable remainder trusts and putting the gift of stocks and real estate in your giving portfolio, attorneys can help you boost the impact of your philanthropy. They can point you to such strategies as using a life insurance policy as a charitable tool which when redeemed will create a permanent fund that supports a donor’s giving goals.