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  Charitable Giving and a Parent's LegacyThursday, July 25th, 2024  
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

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