Tax Law Changes Impact Charitable Giving; Is Philanthropy Motivated by Tax Reasons Dead?

Absolute Trust Talk Releases a New Episode Featuring John Muir Health Foundation Vice President of Legacy Giving That Highlights a Shift in How Philanthropic Goals Are Incorporated into Estate Planning.

Absolute Trust Talk, a monthly podcast released by Absolute Trust Counsel, recently sat down with Michael Crvarich, Vice President of Legacy Giving at the John Muir Health Foundation, to discuss how an individual’s core value system is the new driving force behind charitable giving.

Crvarich reports that with exemption credits now doubled for 99% of Americans, the estate tax is taken off the table.

“There’s a paradigm shift, and the need to do things from an estate tax planning point of view isn’t as prevalent,” he says. “We’re seeing a values-based approach now that people aren’t trying to beat Uncle Sam.”

Absolute Trust Talk host and Absolute Trust Counsel founder Kirsten Howe agrees, adding that from an estate planning point of view it had been a big opportunity to incorporate charity in an estate plan because charitable contributions were deductible from a taxable estate or income taxes.

“Now that we don’t have to really worry about estate taxes, it’s a whole different ball game,” she says.

So, why are people still giving? Because it’s about the mission, about making a difference.

“It’s about changing lives and changing your community, and that’s the real gift,” Crvarich says.

In Absolute Trust Talk’s Episode #025 – “The Exploration of Legacy Planning and Charitable Giving” – Howe and Crvarich discuss:

  • How the change in tax laws has had an impact on charity
  • What drives people to give
  • How families can get involved in charitable giving
  • The mission, successes and strategies on the growth of the John Muir Health Foundation

“Our goal for Absolute Trust Talk is to get together with leaders to break down important topics into thought-provoking, approachable and easy-to-consume content for our community,” Howe says. “It’s interesting to explore the motivations behind the people in our communities, our clients, and how their wants and needs truly drive planning for the future of their legacies.”

The podcast can be downloaded on the Absolute Trust Talk podcast page,, along with a host of free downloadable resources including:

  • “Creating a Family Mission Statement” workbook
  • A variety of e-booklets that explore the different ways of giving under the new tax laws
  • Free one-hour consultation to explore values-based philanthropy and giving

It can also be downloaded on iTunes: