Estate planning ensures control over your assets and documents your wishes. For many Geyer Law clients, those “wishes” include charitable gift planning…,
“Spreading your giving throughout the year, not just at the end, is beneficial to you and the charitable organizations you support,” Angie O’Leary writes. After all, she points out, charities face financial needs on a month-to-month basis. From the donor’s standpoint, the author adds, while donations may be made at any time, there are three main forms of larger scale charitable gifting that can be implemented at any point during the calendar year:.:
- Qualified charitable distributions from IRAs – The IRS allows money to be rolled directly from a traditional IRA to a charity with no tax on the distribution.
- Charitable Remainder Trust – Rather than selling an appreciated asset (real estate, stock, land, artworks), it can be moved to a trust. A stream of payments can then go to you or to beneficiaries of your choice. The asset itself will remain with the charity.
- A donor-advised fund in which you move a lump sum into a managed fund, claiming a tax deduction for the entire amount, and then make periodic decisions about which charity to benefit.
While cash may be a popular and simple way to give to charities, long-term appreciated assets, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and ETFs, might offer better tax benefits to the donor, CharitablePlanning.com suggests.
In a way, lifetimeplanning.biz adds, paying taxes is “involuntary philanthropy”. The implication – you have a choice to substitute “voluntary philanthropy” by making charitable gifts, which can prove far more satisfying..
As we help clients review their estate plan, one important topic we discuss is charitable planning. Perhaps their tax situation has changed, or they have become increasingly aware of a particular issue or cause, or learned of a charity that seems to be in better accord with their principles and goals.
Where there’s the ability and the desire to benefit a charity, we encourage clients to consider doing that sooner rather than later!
– by Rebecca W. Geyer