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"Giving, Philanthropy For Everyone"

Practical Answers From America's Foremost Charitable Planning Authorities

"Giving, Philanthropy For Everyone"
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By Richard Tanner

As a Family Wealth Counselor and president of my own company, I take great joy in introducing you to the exciting world of values-based estate planning. Throughout this introduction you will hear references to Family Wealth Counseling, a revolutionary approach to working with wealthy families, that has swept our country over the past several years.

In working with affluent families across the United State I have found that successful people want control over their wealth. This is probably no surprise to you and yet we find that many of our clients come to us because they feel out of control when it comes to their estate and business succession plans. Our largest and best clients usually have existing relationships with prominent and respected legal and accounting firms, and yet they are often confused and frustrated. As architects of your estate and business succession plan, we begin by asking a series of questions designed to go far beyond the financial and legal aspects of your life and into the social, emotional and spiritual dimensions. I believe it is our unique ability to understand your values and beliefs and to translate them into an effective family wealth plan that has made us effective where others have failed. Our unique process empowers you and your family and will help you gain confidence and control over your wealth.

I have found that given the choice, most people would rather direct their wealth to their kids or charity over giving more to Uncle Sam. Most people feel the government is a poor steward of their resources. When polled, our clients feel 80% or more of their tax dollars are wasted and don't get to people or causes that really need it. The millions of dollars you pay over your lifetime in capital gains, income and estate taxes are really a form of Involuntary Philanthropy. We call this your Social Capital and when you understand the power of retaining family control over your Social Capital, you will become energized by the possibilities. We've discovered that affluent families are increasingly concerned about the impact of their wealth not only on their heirs but on their communities as well. In other words, Family Legacy is becoming more important. As we speak, a national debate is raging about the moral value of the estate tax. Regardless of the outcome, wealthy families will increasingly need to focus on tough questions as to how much is enough and how much is too much. The important issue is not the estate tax, but what affluent families choose to do with their wealth. The answers to these questions can't be found in the tax code or through legal rulings because it is based on values.

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