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Charitable planning: Keep your advisors informed

Advisor meeting with clients

The team at Akron Community Foundation is honored to be your "go-to" resource for all components of your philanthropy. We enjoy talking regularly with individuals, families and businesses about goals for charitable giving, tax strategies, ways to support favorite nonprofits, getting children and grandchildren involved in the community, leaving a legacy, and so much more. If you've already established a donor-advised fund, field-of-interest fund, designated fund or board discretionary fund at the community foundation, you know we're always here to answer your questions. 

What you might not know, though, is that the community foundation is also happy to help you keep your attorney, accountant, and financial advisor in the loop. We'd be happy to join you and your advisors at a meeting to discuss your charitable plans. We're also happy to offer suggestions about which documents and information you'll want to provide to your advisors.

For example, it's important to provide your attorney with information about your fund – or funds – at the community foundation and also provide copies of fund agreements and other documentation. This will help your attorney determine whether and how your fund could be incorporated into your estate plan. Your attorney also needs to be aware of beneficiary designations on retirement plans and IRAs; these vehicles are critical components of an overall estate plan and also are an excellent way to leave a tax-savvy bequest to your fund at the community foundation or other charity. 

Next, your accountant will appreciate knowing about your fund at the community foundation, especially as you work together to evaluate the most effective assets to give to charitable causes each year. Your accountant, for instance, may suggest that you give a certain dollar value of appreciated stock to your donor-advised fund in a particular calendar year to maximize itemized deductions and give you the ability to support your favorite charitable causes for several consecutive years at the high levels you intend. 

Finally, it's important that your financial advisor understand your charitable intentions and be aware of the vehicles you've already established. Your financial advisor can keep an eye out for stock positions that are highly appreciated, making them ideal gifts to fund your charitable intentions. Your financial advisor will be a key member of the planning team if you were to establish a charitable remainder trust, for example, with the community foundation. Not only is it important to determine which assets to use to fund the trust (highly appreciated real estate, for example), but your financial advisor also will want to weigh in on the projected lifetime income stream from the trust to develop retirement projections that are as accurate as possible.

One of the many benefits of being a fundholder at the community foundation is your access to a team of professionals who are dedicated to carrying out your charitable wishes. Think of our team as a group of specialists who deeply understand both the tax and mission-based aspects of charitable giving vehicles – and who are enthusiastic about working alongside your legal, tax and investment advisors to create a philanthropy plan that meets all of your goals. 

To learn more, contact Laura Lederer at 330-436-5611 or We're always available to answer your questions about philanthropy or to schedule a personal consultation with you and your professional advisors – all at no cost.

This article is not intended as legal, accounting, or financial planning advice.

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