Help! My Client Wants to Donate to Planned Parenthood

The Gospel Coalition | 7/1/2019 | Staff
applekip (Posted by) Level 3
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As an estate-planning attorney, I sometimes face troubling dilemmas. For example, I have a client who wants to give a significant amount of money to Planned Parenthood. As a professional, I don’t feel like I can comment on this—even suggesting another organization feels like offering unasked-for and probably unwanted advice. But facilitating this donation is uncomfortable. How should I think about this?

I think you are right to feel uncomfortable assisting someone in giving a large donation to an organization like Planned Parenthood. As someone hired for the advice that you give, you should feel some moral responsibility for the actions you help set into motion.

Tax - Advice - Recommendations - Ethical - Rules

And yet you are hired for legal and tax advice, not for your recommendations on charitable giving. Additionally, there are likely professional ethical and legal rules and expectations that would prevent you from offering the wisdom that this client would clearly benefit from.

In my own work, I spend a lot of time with financial advisers, many of whom end up in similar situations. They are responsible for managing a client’s money. So they choose the stocks, bonds, and mutual funds that allow a client to meet their financial goals while avoiding the pitfalls that make it difficult to meet those goals. Their job is to recommend what to buy and sell and how much to invest or withdraw.

Advisers - Dilemmas - Half - Companies - United

Like you, financial advisers can find themselves in similar moral dilemmas. As many as half of the large companies in the United States have some exposure to things like abortion, tobacco, gambling, adult entertainment, weapons manufacturing, or other goods and services that many Christians would like to avoid. Many advisers feel uncomfortable profiting from these activities, even tangentially. But, like you, they have professional obligations to serve their clients without commenting on possible moral concerns.

Here’s how I’ve seen Christian...
(Excerpt) Read more at: The Gospel Coalition
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