Charitable gift planning can be a simple process. For example, you can write a check, hand over cash, transfer stock or sign a quit-claim deed to real estate directly to the charity of your choosing. On the other hand, there are more involved strategies whereby you can give and receive depending on your unique circumstances.
If you intend to make a charitable donation of some size before or after you pass away, you should speak with estate planning attorney John M. Lane who is experienced with investments, property, tax, and all manner of charitable transfers. John M. Lane can ensure that your gift transfer is set up properly — both from tax and philanthropic perspectives.
Planned gifts can provide significant tax benefits and also even lifetime income for you and your family. John M. Lane will explain charitable giving options that allow you to integrate your own values into your giving, as well as into your financial goals. These options may include charitable trusts and charitable gift annuities.
In addition, many people make planned gifts as testamentary bequests to charities in their wills or revocable living trusts. Life insurance is a common means to leverage charitable giving.
Planned gifts provide opportunities to make charitable gifts that may allow you to: (i) provide inheritances for heirs, while decreasing their tax liability; (ii) lower your taxes on your ordinary income through charitable deductions and/or avoiding capital gains taxes on your appreciated assets; and (iii) create a charitable legacy for future generations. There are many additional benefits to charitable planning beyond this brief overview, so contact your attorney to explore your options.
A Life Income Gift. This approach provides a future source of income for the charity while also providing a tax deduction and current income payments to you and your family. This gift can be flexible with fixed, variable, or deferred payments.
Bequests and Retirement Plans. You can name your charity as a beneficiary of your will or revocable living trust — or name the charity as a beneficiary of a retirement plan, such as an IRA, 401(k), 403(b), or other retirement fund. This can be a win-win, especially when it comes to retirement plan assets. There are no income or estate taxes on any retirement plan assets left directly to a charity.
Charitable Lead Trusts. This trust can be used to leverage the eventual transfer of appreciating assets to family members in light of current and future estate and gift tax consequences. Essentially, this approach provides immediate support to your charity through fixed payments for a specified period of time. At the end of the term, the trust will revert to your loved ones by transferring all of its remaining assets to them with reduced or no estate and gift tax.
Retained Life Estate. You can generate a current income tax deduction by giving real estate (e.g., a home or farm) to your charity, but still retain the right to use the property during your lifetime.
Again, these are just a few (of many available) planned giving strategies you can use to make your gift. Charitable giving is a great way to support your favorite non-profit interests. Even better, planned giving can help you make sizeable gifts that can benefit both charity and your family.
John M. Lane can explore these and additional strategies with you, depending on your unique circumstances.