Just Say No

That was the advice from University of Oregon Foundation’s Jeff Comfort at the National Capital Gift Planning Council’s event on Wednesday. With 35 years of experience in planned giving, Comfort knows his stuff.

He wants all charities to stop jumping through hoops to get their IRA distributions from financial institutions. His advice: Just say no! Or more precisely, say, “What is the legal basis for requiring my charity to open an account?”

So here’s the back story. When a donor leaves money to your organization from their IRA, it’s up to Schwab, Fidelity, Vanguard and other institutions to make the distribution to your charity. Unfortunately, many of these companies have onerous requirements that they ask charities to follow, including opening a special account, providing your social security numbers and even copies of your drivers’ license.  But here’s the story:  YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO ANY OF THAT!

There is no legal basis for them to require these actions. They can be time consuming and a total invasion of privacy. So, Comfort says, just say no. His organization and many others have been successful at challenging these requirements and still getting their money, simply by stating an objections and asking questions.

To learn more about how charities are pushing back and winning . . . and find a list of good contact names at many of the financial institutions, you can visit the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners’ Charitable Beneficiary IRA Distribution Resource Center at this link.

 

 

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