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Most of us give in response to a direct request.  It may be a person on the street.  Maybe an organization comes to your door.  Sometimes it’s a friend in distress.

What if we made giving a part of our life?  At Connexus, there was a series on thriving versus surviving.  If we built that into a plan, then it would actually happen and others could plan around the gift.  There will always be an occasional need for immediate support and I hope those who can, continue to do so.  I suggest this is a good time of year to have this discussion with your financial adviser in order to take advantage of tax savings for 2012.

For those who have assets that are more substantial, there are some amazing things you can do with proper planning.  Bill Petruk with Funding Matters has created an amazing program that can show you how your gift can be given and how that will affect your financial picture.  This can help you when working on your estate planning.  What if you could leave a legacy for your heirs and still make a great contribution?

Lets use a simple example.  You have assets in the millions of dollars and could really accomplish a great act of charity.  You are too old to insure your life.  You have children and grand children you would like to leave a legacy for.

What if you insured a child with a pre-paid insurance policy?  They, your child, could draw on those funds during their life and there would still be insurance to go to the next generation, your grand child.  You could then use some of your remaining estate to gift.  Whether it is a direct gift or you leave it in a foundation.  You might even have some tax benefit during your lifetime if it’s planned properly.

None of this is something that you should do on your own and I highly advise seeing a professional who has experience in estate planning.  This isn’t something your average accountant knows enough about.  You will need your whole team of financial experts for this one!  That means you need accountants whose heads aren’t too big to talk with your financial adviser, banker and lawyer.  I would recommend you build a team that you can trust to work together and not let their egos get in the way of good planning.

For the rest of us, I recommend watching the Thrive series from Connexus and consider putting a plan together that will allow us to at least give what we can.

Make it a great day!


P.S.  What am I thankful for today?  I’m thankful to be alive!  I’m thankful for opportunities in my life.  I’m thankful for faith.

What are you thankful for today?

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