Charitable giving allows you to assist the people and organizations that have come to mean the most to you over the course of your life. It represents a thoughtful expression of your values and can ensure your legacy for generations to come. If done properly, it can also be an excellent way to significantly lower taxes, so that the greatest possible amount of your gift is available for the recipients of your generosity, and at the same time, more of your hard-earned wealth is preserved for you and your loved ones.
Some of the benefits of giving to charity, and the advantages of having an experienced estate planning attorney design your charitable giving plan, include:
- Memorializing your family name
- Reducing capital gains or estate taxes
- Supporting causes and institutions important to you and other family members
- Allowing you to make charitable contributions while you are alive and after you are gone
- Receiving an income stream as part of your donation
- Giving more to charity than you thought possible
There are many different strategies available to maximize the value of your gift. Some of the more popular and effective options include:
Gift Annuities. These allow you to contribute funds to a nonprofit organization and receive a fixed annuity payment from the nonprofit’s general assets for the rest of your life
Charitable Remainder Trusts. These let you establish a trust and receive income from the trust for a set number of years. Afterwards, the balance of the trust transfers to the charity you have chosen.
Charitable Lead Trusts. These distribute income to the charity you have chosen for a set number of years, and then the remainder of the trust passes on to your beneficiaries. In essence, charitable lead trusts are the opposite of charitable remainder trusts.
Bequests. A charitable bequest is a gift to a charity of cash, land or a percentage of some other asset such as a life insurance policy, 401K or pension. It is most commonly given through a Will or Living Trust, and is one of the ways families of modest means can give valuable assistance to a charity of their choosing.
If you are interested in giving to charity, and would like additional information about these and other strategies for effective charitable gifting, please contact us for a consultation.