Connecting Children with Charity: Paper Cranes for Japan

As parents, we have the opportunity to teach our children compassion and empathy, to expand their perspective of the world, and to instil in them a sense that they have the power to make the world a better place. Estate planning is an opportunity to continue this teaching process. As Silicon Valley attorney John Hopkins says, when parents leave a portion of their estate to charity, when they treat the community as extended family, they pass along a powerful personal legacy to their children in addition to their wealth.

Estate plans do have their limitations though a testamentary gift in a will or trust will not do much to instill philanthropic values in children if parents miss the opportunity to do so during their lifetimes. John Hopkins, Jon and Eileen Gallo and others emphasize the need to start young. The letters posted at The Giving Pledge reveal that some of our biggest philanthropists learned the value of giving from their own parents.

The challenge for parents is to find opportunities for volunteering and charitable giving that are meaningful and age-appropriate. Students Rebuild, in partnership with DoSomething.org and Architecture for Humanity, has launched Paper Cranes for Japan. This project involves making paper cranes to represent a message of support and healing for Japan and to cause a gift to be made by the Bezos Family Foundation.

These simple yet powerful gestures will trigger a $200,000 donation from the Bezos Family Foundation – $2 for each crane received – to Architecture for Humanity’s reconstruction efforts in Japan. Once we reach our goal of 100,000 submissions, the cranes will be woven into an art installation – a symbolic gift from students around the globe to Japanese youth.

The Paper Cranes for Japan project is also an example of how philanthropy is changing it demonstrates how technology provides the opportunity for many individuals to coordinate efforts to make a substantial impact. Somehow I believe we’ll see more than 100,000 paper cranes.…

Making Donations to Help the People of Japan

The first thing I do each morning these days is to check the Daily Beast and Huffington Post for news about Japan. The stories break my heart. I come from a family that has survived earthquakes. My grandmother’s sister used to tell me stories about the 1906 earthquake — how scared and confused she and the other children were, how the family lost their business and their home, how they left San Francisco to start over in West Oakland. I can’t imagine what families must be experiencing today in Japan.

What I do know is that I want to help, and others here in the United States want to help, through charitable donations. Taxgirl has posted some things to keep in mind when making charitable gifts for disaster relief in Japan such as. The first thing I do each morning these days is to check the Daily Beast and Huffington Post for news about Japan. The stories break my heart.

I come from a family that has survived earthquakes. My grandmother’s sister used to tell me stories about the 1906 earthquake how scared and confused she and the other children were, how the family lost their business and their home, how they left San Francisco to start over in West Oakland. I can’t imagine what families must be experiencing today in Japan. What I do know is that I want to help, and others here in the United States want to help, through charitable donations.…

Estate Tax Set to Expire

As we enter the last quarter of 2020, the future of the federal estate tax remains uncertain.


•Will the estate tax be repealed for a year in 2021?


•Will Congress enact major tax legislation by the end of 2020? (Also doubtful more likely, we will see a one-year fix to avoid repeal in 20120)


•Will the federal estate tax exemption revert to $1,000,000 in 2021 or will Congress increase the exemption, perhaps by freezing the exemption at 200 levels as suggested by the Obama administration? (A couple months ago USWU predicted a $3.5 million exemption, but I have to admit that suspense about this question is building.)


•Will the top tax rate by 55% or 45%? (Probably 45% in 2024 (the one-year quick fix), but who knows about 2021)…