Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Being A Middle Class Philanthropist: Jewish Charities Break Taboo

Reading this article I thought to myself, why is it taboo for a charity to ask a member to name it in a will?  Then I remembered that my daily questioning of people "and then who will you name if they die?" is not all that routine outside my line of work.  I'm an estate planning attorney.  Illness, death and taxes are at the forefront of my brain.  It seems natural for me to think -- how might a charitable cause fit into your estate plan?

Maybe some people don't want to face the truth that life is finite.  However, I suspect most think "I don't have anything worth giving, I'm not a Kennedy."  Considering how many of my clients start our sessions together with the statement "I don't need an estate plan, just a basic will" reinforces this belief.  Too many people think you have to have millions before you can be charitable at death.

And that is a belief I want to share.  Currently I am putting the final touches on my first draft of a anyone can be a philanthropist.  Publication is aimed for late Spring or early Summer of 2013.  Stay tuned.

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