The estate tax aims at taxing the largest estates to help fund government programs and charities aim at voluntarily raising money to support causes that benefit society. However, they are actually closely linked, according to Bloomberg in "GOP Plan to Kill Estate Tax Sets Up Charitable Giving Conflict."
The issue is that one of the most common ways to get around the estate tax is to shrink an estate to just below the estate tax exemption limit. A great way to do this is to give money to charity.
When the estate tax was temporarily eliminated in 2010, charitable giving was reduced by 37%.
This has many charities very nervous about the possibility that the estate tax could be eliminated again, as the Trump administration and Congressional Republicans would like.
Republicans are looking for ways to get around this problem by finding other ways to encourage charitable giving.
It is not yet certain whether they will have the votes necessary to do that.
In addition, it is also not certain at this point whether they will have the votes to eliminate the estate tax either.
With or without the estate tax, an estate planning attorney can advise you on an estate plan that fits your particular circumstances.
Reference: Bloomberg (Aug. 25, 2017) "GOP Plan to Kill Estate Tax Sets Up Charitable Giving Conflict."