by Vince Crew
I recently attended two seminars on estate planning... one in
Cleveland for professionals in the area of planned giving and
one at my church conducted by a professional concentrating on
church giving. In both situations the presenters said the exact
same thing: "many of my clients say their children are their
favorite charities." Part of me says that's great to want leave
money to their children. The other part of me says how sad that
their children won't enjoy the same sense of accomplishment and
pride they experienced in building wealth.
What should a parent leave to their child? How much is fair?
Will it be squandered away or put to good use?
To answer this, don't concentrate on money... if a child grows up
responsibly, they'll have the character, discipline, abilities,
and drive to make their own money. Instead, think about passing
on that which only a parent can... memories of love and laughter,
encouragement, work ethics, community involvement, integrity,
good citizenship, caring for others, a spiritual foundation; and
most of all a sense of responsibility to support good things.
When assets of the heart are transferred, interest compounds
forever from generation to generation. So leave 100% of yourself
to the kids and maybe 30% of the money... the rest, consider
giving to those who weren't blessed by your love as a parent.
Find some cause(s) or institutions you believe in and support
them with gifts from your estate. Want to really maximize the
gifts' value? Share the plans and experience of your charitable
giving with your children... it'll be a lesson to help them grow.
Now there's a legacy that not only endures, but increases in years
to come. And legacies beget legacies.
At least that how I see it.
©Reprinted with permission from Vince Crew. Vince operates REACH Development Services.
He is a conference speaker and adviser who works with business owners, healthcare and
nonprofit executives on the critical issues of leading people and organizations.
He can be REACHed at 419 - 281- 7332 or www.REACHdevelopment.com
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