How to Ask


how to discuss estate charitable giving

Let’s talk about how can you make the conversation happen with your client, and make it a comfortable one.

  • When providing your client with a printed list of issues and questions, include charitable giving to be addressed – this allows your client to consider the idea ahead of time and ensures that the question is not overlooked.

  • Introduce the subject in a way that generates a thoughtful, rather than reactive, response using one of the following conversation starters:

    Many people who have been actively involved in their community like to leave something in their will for charity – as a way of sharing one’s good fortune with those who have been less fortunate, or of repaying an organization that has made a difference in their lives, or of helping make our community a better place in the future. Had you considered the possibility of a charitable gift now and in your future estate plan?

    There are other reasons as well to consider a charitable gift – tax savings, for one. It would appear that your estate will be substantially reduced by income tax. Charitable giving can reduce that tax burden and benefit both your inheritors and your community. Are you aware of the income tax provision that eliminates the capital gains tax payable on the sale of appreciated securities when you gift shares?

  • Clients can be hesitant to consider charitable gifts because they are afraid they will not have enough assets for a secure retirement. You might discuss how much is needed and open the discussion with the following sentence:

    If you’re interested, perhaps we could try making your money work better for you in your retirement while also providing for organizations that are important to you.

  • If your clients are interested in including philanthropy in their plans but are unclear about a particular cause you might also ask your client:

    When you lie awake at night, what do you worry about? What values, activities and organizations contributed to your success? At your funeral, you would like people to say, “She really cared about ...”

  • If your client shows an interest in charitable giving, but is unsure about which organizations to give to, you could provide the opportunity to seek information or guidance from The Community Foundation – an organization with extensive knowledge about community issues, opportunities and needs.

  • If your clients are interested in leaving a legacy, suggest including a bequest in their will to the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta.

*Interested in learning more on how to help you in your work with clients, visit the Community Foundations of Canada Professional Advisors eResource toolkit.



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