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Professional Seminar 2019

May 16, 2019

"Staying Atop Shifting Sands: Keeping Nimble Amidst Changing Tax Laws" by Samuel A. Donaldson


On behalf of the CFT Professional Seminar Committee, special thanks to our sponsors and to each of you who attended the May 7th CFT/SMU Professional Seminar at SMU!

Speaker Professor Samuel A. Donaldson brought humor and planning wisdom to the 3-hour continuing education program Staying Atop Shifting Sands: Keeping Nimble Amidst Changing Tax Laws.


Donaldson, a faculty member at Georgia State Law, engaged a full house with practical tips for planning for married couples with varying estate sizes and with strategies for anticipating state transfer taxes and appropriate trust tools. He provided a thorough overview of post-enactment guidance for the Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017, along with 2019 notes of interest for estate planning professionals.

In his concluding slides for contemporary tax strategies, Donaldson explained that donors can maximize deductions through charitable giving by “bunching” donations to a donor-advised fund. He noted that charitably-minded donors over the age of 70 ½ can direct their IRA custodians to pay the required minimum distributions to a specified charity. Donors would not receive a deduction for a charitable rollover gift, however, they would benefit from not adding to their taxable income. Said Donaldson, “Charitable rollovers are even better under the new law, now that the limit on the deduction for cash contributions has been increased.”

"As you know your clients, we know philanthropy. Together, we can
ensure that your client’s values are heard and that the guidance they
receive about their charitable fund choices are optimal for
their circumstances. That’s our core competence. And one of the
biggest opportunities for us collectively to add value is in the creative
structuring of complex assets to fund charitable gifts." -Dave Scullin, President and CEO of Communities Foundation of Texas.

Please contact Kathryn McGill at to learn more about how donors can utilize their charitable rollover distributions to benefit their philanthropic goals through a CFT fund.

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