Articles Posted in Charitable Giving

Benefits of Charitable Giving

When it comes to planning your Houston estate plan, one tool that should not be forgotten is charitable giving. As an estate-planning tool, charitable giving has two primary benefits. First and foremost, it provides an opportunity to give back and support the causes we care about. Secondly, charitable gifts reduce the taxable assets within an estate, potentially resulting in significant tax savings, particularly for substantial estates. A charitable trust allows Texans to achieve these two important estate-planning goals simultaneously.

A trust is an arrangement in which property is placed in the hands of a trustee to be managed and used for the benefit of a beneficiary. In the case of a charitable trust, the beneficiary is a charitable organization chosen by the grantor. Creating a charitable trust can have multiple tax benefits. For starters, a trust can be structured so that any donations made during the grantor’s lifetime can be deductible from their income tax. Furthermore, when the grantor dies, the assets within the trust are not included within the grantor’s estate. As a result, the tax burden on substantial estates can be reduced significantly through the creation of a charitable trust.

2.4.20A will or trust explains what you want to have happen to your assets when you die, hopefully in a very, very long time. While most people understand that a will explains what to do with money, property, and children, there are other parts you might be surprised by.

MSN’s recent article entitled “3 surprising things you might not think to include your will” tells about three things to include in your will that you may not have thought about before.

 

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11.9.19A fear that children will not be motivated to have careers because of their family’s wealth is a concern. However, in the long run, it can hamper how wealth is handled by the next generation.

In a perfect world, discussing a family’s legacy should be a process that begins when children are old enough to understand concepts as simple as giving and the notion that wealth comes with social responsibilities. In reality, few discuss their philanthropic or legacy goals with their children.

CNBC’s recent article, “Don’t expect Mom and Dad to clue you in on your inheritance,” says that 8 out of 10 financial advisors said that “some” or “hardly any” of their clients involve the next generation in family philanthropy, according to a recent survey from Key Private Bank.

9.5.19Estate planning attorneys and CPAs all keep an eye on letter rulings to see if IRS decisions have any bearing on their own client’s situations. In this case, a taxpayer is setting up a revocable trust and wants to use a Charitable Lead Annuity Trust known as a CLAT.

A recently posted letter ruling from the IRS addresses the use of a CLAT used in estate planning.

A CLAT letter ruling could be of interest to those who are using life insurance, annuities or other instruments in estate planning.

7.25.19The fight over Conrad Prebys’ $1 billion estate continues, three years after the San Diego developer and philanthropist died.

When the directors of the Conrad Prebys Foundation decided to give his son Eric $15 million, despite the fact that his father had left him out of the will, Preby’s longtime partner tried to sue them.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported in the article “Court fight continues over control of $1 billion Prebys estate,” that in January, a San Diego Superior Court judge dismissed Debra Turner’s suit, holding that she had no legal standing to bring it. She then filed an amended complaint. However, the judge recently dismissed her lawsuit.

5.22.19Some people give generously all year long, supporting local nonprofits and taking care of their family members. If that’s you, perhaps it’s time to consider taking a more strategic approach to lifetime giving.

Not everyone gives because they are looking to minimize their taxes. If you’ve reached the age and stage where you have accumulated more than enough wealth to retire on, you may enjoy being generous and seeing the impact your gifts can have on the lives of those you love, or those who are less fortunate.

WMUR’s recent article, Money Matters: Lifetime non-charitable giving,” explains that lifetime giving means you dictate who gets your property. Remember, if you die without a will, the intestacy laws of the state will dictate who gets what. With a will, you can decide how you want your property distributed after your death. However, it’s true that even with a will, you won’t really know how the property is distributed, because a beneficiary could disclaim an inheritance. With lifetime giving, you have more control over how your assets are distributed.

2.6.19While there’s a time limit on this great opportunity for tax-free giving—2025, unless Congress makes some changes—this is a good time to take advantage of minimizing your tax liability through generosity. There’s a new big break for top-dollar wealth transfers, thanks to the new tax law.

Basic rule: the more you give away, the smaller your estate and, therefore, the smaller your tax liability. If you’ve got a lot of wealth, this is a good time for you and those you want to make gifts to. The sooner you exploit this, the more you can give. It means that there’s less of a chance your estate will have to write a check to the IRS.

The Street’s recent article, “This Is the Golden Age of Tax-Free Gift Giving,” says the federal government has taxed estates since 1924, and as recently as 2001, the threshold when taxes kicked in was $675,000. This exemption level from taxation has been increased ever since. However, a large increase came from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which took effect in 2018. The Act doubled the exemption level and indexed it to inflation. Anything above the new limits is taxed at 40%. It is $11.4 million for singles and $22.8 million for married couples in 2019.

2.1.19Most donations are made in December, and charities of all shapes and sizes make the most of the holiday spirit. However, by taking a bit of time to plan out charitable giving, including doing some research and talking with your family about your legacy, your giving could have a greater impact this year and in years to come.

A rough ride in the start of the year’s markets and changes to the tax laws have left many donors wondering if they can afford to be as generous in 2019, as they were in the past. Fundraisers advise donors to think more about what non-profits have greater meaning to them and to take a more thoughtful approach to giving. Philanthropy is still good for your legacy, sense of community and, when done right, taxes.

The Reno Gazette Journal’s article, “Get an early jump on charitable giving” looks at tax planning opportunities for charitable giving, specifically in light of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCD). Here’s a review of why people give. The primary reasons for donating include the following:

1.3.19Single with a net worth less than $11.4 million in 2019? You’re in luck—you can die knowing that all of your money will pass free of any federal estate tax to your heirs.

It was good news for the wealthy—the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) amped up the unified federal estate and gift tax exemption to $11.4 million for 2019 (and up to $11.18 million in 2018). If that wasn’t generous enough, those exemptions will be increased annually for inflation from 2020 to 2025. As comedian Mel Brooks would say, “It’s good to be the king.”

MarketWatch’s recent article, “How single folks should handle estate-tax planning under the new tax law,” explains that taxable estates above the exemption will have the excess taxed at a flat 40% rate. An individual’s cumulative lifetime taxable gifts in excess of the exemption are taxed at the 40% rate. Likewise, taxable gifts are those that are more than the annual federal gift tax exclusion of $15,000 for 2018 and 2019.

5.22.18Even with the new tax laws in place, there are still advantages to philanthropy, at all levels of giving.

There are many ways to support causes that matter to you. Some charitable giving can be incorporated into your estate plan, according to Investopedia’s article, “A Primer on Philanthropic Vehicles.” However, some people enjoy giving while they are living, to have control over their generosity and enjoy the positive impact their giving has on others.

Cash is the most basic donation and is one that most people know about. That’s as simple as writing a check to the charity or other tax-qualified organization of your choosing.

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