NUS Giving Experience: Legacy Forum: Intent & Goals: A Time to Rethink Planning and Giving
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is manifold, including a seismic economic downturn and increased market volatility. The resulting uncertainty has also underscored the importance of wealth planning and prompted many families and individuals to rethink their legacy and giving plans.
At the National University of Singapore (NUS) Giving Experience: Legacy Forum titled, Intent & Goals: A Time to Rethink Planning and Giving, experts gathered for an engaging discussion on legacy planning in the current volatile economic climate.
Ms Karen Tan, Executive Director of J.P. Morgan, set the scene by sharing her observations across the past year and how the pandemic has accelerated many changes in the wealth and investment landscape.
With more time on their hands during the pandemic, Ms Tan shared that clients are forced to think about the intent for their wealth and subsequently, the goals that they want to achieve to ensure that their intent and legacy is seen through. This goals-based approach is the recommended approach to help families and individuals develop a sustainable wealth and legacy plan.
“Understanding your intent opens the door for a conversation about your goals. Ultimately, it’s about going back to what you want to do as your intent, determining what your goals are, and then being deliberate about the right strategy for those goals,” elaborated Ms Tan.
Providing another perspective to the topic of legacy planning, Mr Vikna Rajah, Equity Partner at Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP, touched on charitable giving as part of legacy planning.
“In Asia, we are witnessing a wealth transition. While the older generation always focused on multi-generational family plans, the perspective of inheritors or wealth creators today has shifted. They use wealth as part of their social responsibility and to articulate their views on education and other causes,” said Mr Rajah.
Mr Rajah also highlighted that while this is a positive trend when it comes to charitable giving, Singapore is still lagging behind and placed 46th on the World Giving Index.
The positive trend in charitable giving in Singapore was echoed by Moderator, Mr Chandra Mohan K Nair, a Partner at Tan Rajah & Cheah.
“Even in my legal practice, I see people wanting to contribute beyond just for their families. The trend is quite positive and encouraging for charity as a whole. Singaporeans are getting to be more generous even if there is some way to go,” said Mr Chandra Mohan.
As we celebrate the positive trend of the rise of charitable giving in Singapore, all three speakers urged that more can be done to truly inculcate the philanthropic spirit in all Singaporeans.
Mr Rajah suggested the use of online donation tools to make it easier for the man on the street to make a gift. Ms Tan spoke about the need for greater awareness and more importantly, of inculcating the philosophy of giving from a young age through education.
“In our own ways, we need to create activism in all of us. We have to imbibe the notion of giving in the young and old, so that we can contribute by getting involved in charity work and giving back to charity,” concluded Mr Chandra Mohan.