As a partner at Pinsent Masons, I advise families and individuals. Legal innovations, growing wealth, and changing norms have allowed asset and succession planning to evolve in very interesting ways. I think one of the most impactful ways to do so is to leave a legacy gift to your favourite cause.

Start a conversation, because asking the right questions can help shape your clients' giving intentions. "Conversations are powerful because they drive thinking around why, who and when your client would like to give," shares Valerie Wu.

Currently a partner at global law firm Pinsent Masons' Singapore office, Valerie is a specialist in tax, trust and fund work. As an advisor to families in private wealth transfer and succession planning, and a former senior wealth planner at the Rothschild Trust, Valerie is inspired by the clients she's worked with from around the world. 

"I've been privileged to be able to observe how families both at home and in other jurisdictions think about succession planning," she says, "There's a general belief that if one makes a certain amount of money, one needs to give part of that income away to benefit others."

In a nod to her own experience, Valerie says, " As we grew up in an emergent, developing and hungry Asian landscape, we often watched and listened to our grandparents. My grandmother was a very strong lady who arrived in Singapore before the Second World War. She never forgot her roots, always sending money back to her home town to support her community." 

As a tax lawyer with a strong interest in succession planning, Valerie is keen to empower legacy giving in Singapore through her knowledge. In the near future, she is looking to work on law reform to simplify the process of giving in Singapore. 

She finds satisfaction in prompting her clients to think more intentionally on their giving. "Advisors can make a big impact if we can strike more conversations around giving and make legacy giving more accessible and easier to understand," she says. 

She encourages more advisors to kick-start these conversations, "Make conversations around giving a part of your planning exercise to drive the thinking process, because there’s a huge potential for legacy giving to benefit charities and causes in Singapore.”