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Biography

With his 25 years of experience in trust, tax and philanthropic financial planning, Greg Baker works directly with clients' attorneys, other advisors and Renaissance staff regarding interpretations of federal and state laws applicable to charitable gifts. He has consulted on over 19,000 charitable remainder trusts, over 800 charitable lead trusts, numerous private foundations, supporting organizations, donor-advised funds and charitable gift annuities.

Greg is in his second tenure with Renaissance. Prior to re-joining Renaissance in 2002, Greg was Vice President, Manager of Charitable Account Services in Princeton, N.J. for Merrill Lynch Trust Company and the Merrill Lynch Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Management. As Merrill's Charitable Fiduciary Risk Manager, Greg identified and managed account compliance projects for over $4 billion in planned gift instruments under management.

Greg was the Senior Staff Attorney with Renaissance Inc. for seven years before joining Merrill Lynch.

Greg is widely sought as a speaker on the local, state and national levels most notably as an 8-time speaker at the National Conference on Philanthropic Planning and as a panelist on a webinar for the Hudson Institute. He has published work in Planned Giving Today and the Estate Planning newsletter of the Society of Financial Service Professionals, to name a few.

A past President and current Board Member of the Planned Giving Group of Indiana, Advisory Board member for the CAP program at the American College, member of the Indiana Bar, the Indiana State Bar Association, the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning and the Financial Planning Association, Greg is very active in the charitable planned gift community.

Greg received his undergraduate degree from Wabash College and his juris doctorate from Indiana University.

Commentary

Ethics of Charitable Remainder Trust Planning

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Charitable remainder trust planning involves several disciplines. This article will use several real-life examples from the presenter's experience with more than 13,000 CRTs to describe some of the ethical "gotchas" that arise in charitable planning. Planned giving officers, attorneys, and financial planners all face ethical situations that require careful thought before taking the next step. This article will look at the typical roles and responsibilities of a planned giving officer, attorney, and financial planner, then consider how those roles often collide in the CRT planning process.

CRT Planning on a Napkin

Friday, October 15, 2010

The simplest way is often the best and this is explained in the article. Computer presentations and printed proposals are nice. But when you meet face to face with a donor, using a few boxes and arrows that are personalized to her situation is a powerful way to convey your message. If you cannot explain the concept on a napkin, then your donors won't be able to explain it to their family and advisors.

CRT Traps Attorneys Must Avoid

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Attorneys who draft charitable remainder trusts for a client have a duty to provide competent service. However, CRT planning crosses several disciplines, and the attorney's failure in one area may cause severe problems for the client. This article uses examples from the presenter's experience with more than 16,000 CRTs to describe several traps in CRT planning and how to avoid them. It focuses on case studies of several CRTs that were doomed to fail, and suggest things the planned giving officer and attorney could have done differently. Topics discussed include design, drafting, investment and operation of CRTs.

Six Ways to Use CRTs with Small Business Owners

Thursday, October 11, 2007

According to IRS statistics, small businesses represent nearly one-third of the value of affluent decedents' estates. CRT planning for small business owners is a critical capability for any gift planning shop. This article describes several CRT options that benefit the small business owner by increasing lifetime cash flow, increasing cash flow and business control to the next generation, increasing employee benefits, and increasing charitable gifts.