I had the privilege of attending the Carter Center’s Winter this weekend in San Diego.
The Weekend was an opportunity for the many supporters of the Carter Center to gather in a relaxed atmosphere and learn more about the Carter Center and its many philanthropic activities, including: waging peace (through election monitoring and programs to advance civil rights), fighting disease (such as the near-elimination of “river blindness”), and countless other programs. Part of the Weekend consisted of an auction of various donated items and Presidential memorabilia. The auction raised $1.6 million in furtherance of the Carter Center’s activities.
While attending the Weekend, I had the pleasure of attending a replaying of the interview which President Carter gave to Piers Morgan last week on CNN. What was interesting was that President Carter himself was there to narrate the interview and answer questions from the audience. He has incredible energy and drive, especially for someone who, at eighty-eight, could simply choose to coast.
I have the great pleasure of serving the Carter Center as a member of its national Planned Giving Advisory Council. Just as the Carter Center serves the world, the Council serves philanthropic organizations and the estate planning community in general. The Council’s purpose is not just to further the Carter Center and its laudable projects, but the cause of philanthropy and estate planning itself.
The great work of the Carter Center reminds me how important it is to raise the topic of charitable giving during the initial consultation. The estate planning process is foreign to most clients. Even the savviest client may not know that there are options for charitable giving that can reduce the net cost. For example, a charitable remainder trust can provide a tax benefit for the client while benefitting the charity. Raising the issue does the client a service, as well as helping the broader community.
Stephen C. Hartnett, J.D., LL.M.
Associate Director of Education
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555