Charitable Planning Did you know that there is more money given to charities in the United States than in any other country in the world? In 2003, more than $2,046,921,512,436 was given to non-profit agencies, which does not include money given to organizations not registered. Have you ever thought about charitable giving as part of your family's planning? One common misperception is that people don't feel that they have enough money to give away. That could not be further from the truth. The fact is that a family's assets are more than money. A family's true assets are: Financial Capital Intellectual Capital Social Capital Moral Capital Family giving is not necessarily about having large sums money to give away, but is more about creating a Family Legacy. A Family Legacy can be defined as having two parts. The first part is affluence, or the finances of wealth transfer. The second part is influence, or the leverage of wealth transfer. The key is learning to use both. Giving helps to create a two-way relationship between parents and their children. First, it is a blessing for the children. They have to the honor of distributing their parents' wealth. This wealth is more than just a Financial Inheritance. It is a Family Legacy. The difference between a Financial Inheritance and a Family Legacy is: "A promise bestowed upon the heirs' future". The promise is comprised of four main elements: Transfer of Authority Meaningful Communication Special Future Character Investment This process helps change the way parents view their children. They become adults. The second way giving creates a two-way relationship is that it is an honor for the parents. Through giving, parents gain the opportunity to have their children involved in the organizations and charities that meant the most to them. It also provides parents with: Time with Family Valued Opinion Making a Difference There are many aspects to leaving a Family Legacy. It is extremely important to meet with a competent advisor to see how this idea might fit into your charitable planning.