Who Do You Trust? Local Advisors Offer Sage Advice at Community Foundation Seminar
“Most Trusted Advisor” Planned Giving Seminar Brings Donors, Advisors Together
New Britain, Conn., October 5, 2016 – The example was striking. Local estate planning attorney Robert A. Scalise, Jr., was telling the tale of a client, an older couple getting on in years who came to him some years ago wanting to know what to do with $700,000 in assets they had accumulated over years of hard work.
“They wanted to simply turn the money over to their children, but such exercises are never black and white,” said Scalise, Principal with New Britain-based Ericson, Scalise & Mangan, P.C. “We took a look at their circumstances and determined that doing so would result in the children realizing, after estate taxes, only 19 cents on the dollar.
“Instead, they turned that money over to the Community Foundation, which helped them establish a scholarship fund that today, years later, is not only keeping their name and legacy alive, but is helping numerous young adults realize the dream of a college education.”
The lesson was one of several told before a rapt audience Wednesday, October 5, at the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain’s “Most Trusted Advisor: Tips & Tools” planned giving seminar at the New Britain Museum of American Art. The complimentary seminar brought together professional advisors, donors and Community Foundation staff to discuss what makes for a productive, rewarding partnership between those wishing to leave their legacy and those offering professional counsel.
“There are really only three places where your money can go – to your family, to charity or to the government,” said Donna Roseman David, Vice President and Senior Trust Officer at U.S. Trust in Hartford who, along with Scalise, was a panelist at the seminar. “It is up to the client to decide how it all plays out – and hopefully those decisions are made with the benefit of professional counsel.”
When it comes to leaving a legacy, said Roseman David, it is crucial to ensure that the client and advisor are not the only ones involved.
“It is critical to involve the chosen charity or charities as early on in the process as practical,” she said. “You want to know that any gifts a client is considering making will be put to good use.
“We like to look at our clients holistically, their entire picture – investment assets, real estate, family and personal goals,” she continued. “Then we map out what their financial future can look like.”
Added Scalise, “The most important thing in my mind is a team approach, working with the client in the center of a circle of professionals – the investment advisor, CPA, estate planning attorney – a partnership of professionals surrounding the client with comprehensive advice and options.”
Community Foundation of Greater New Britain Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Bob Trojanowski and Senior Philanthropic Advisor Ann Bova took part in a mock role playing exercise for the benefit of the audience, with Trojanowski playing the role of a potential client. The give and take illustrated the importance not only of professional counsel when it comes to estate planning, but earning trust.
“Hopefully this seminar offered to our attendees some solid advice and insight about how best to go about the sometimes intimidating process of estate planning,” said Bova. “From the Community Foundation’s perspective, it is important for those hoping to leave a legacy to know that the Foundation can be just as important a resource as the estate planning attorneys, accountants and financial planners.
“Gaining the perspective of a wide range of professional resources will result in the most appropriate and rewarding path.”
Established in 1941, the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain is “Where Good Begins” in Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington. The Foundation works to inspire philanthropy, manage permanent charitable assets effectively, and partner to address key community issues through strategic leadership. For more information, visit www.cfgnb.org.