This month, we decided to expand our coverage of charitable giving by devoting our entire October issue to this topic. Our Valuations Committee graciously agreed to focus their Committee Report on valuations regarding charitable gifts, specifically, how to value contributions of complex assets and intra-family notes. In addition, for the first time, we recognize six estate-planning practitioners who’ve taken that extra step by becoming personally involved in worthy charitable causes. As you can see in “Practitioners With Heart Awards,” by Dawn S. Markowitz, p. 47, our winners this year are truly heroes. They’ve gone beyond simply writing a check or serving on a board and have exhibited a passion for the causes they serve. Their endeavors range from stopping child abuse to teaching financial literacy and business skills to Ethiopian women. We plan to make this an annual feature, so start thinking about who you want to nominate for next year’s awards.
We also explore charitable giving from various perspectives. For example, in “My Client, a Donor?” p. 19, Alexandra P. Brovey explains what motivates donors to make charitable gifts. And, “The Qualified Appraisal Rules,” by Jonathan G. Tidd, p. 14, gives us the lowdown on what documentation the Internal Revenue Service looks for in enforcing these rules and how practitioners can prevent their clients from losing out on a charitable deduction. In his article “Planning in an Estate-Tax-Free Environment,” p. 24, Robert F. Sharpe, Jr. advises practitioners on how to implement their clients’ charitable goals using newly available funds from their transfer tax savings.