Charitable Giving through Estate Planning

Everyone has his or her own idea of what creates the ideal legacy. For some, it’s all about providing handsomely for heirs but for others, it’s also about leaving a piece of their wealth to a charitable cause or organization.

Giving to Charities through Your Will
When you allocate your assets to various friends and family members through your will, you can also leave some to your chosen charitable organization(s). If your estate is potentially facing estate taxes, this may even reduce some of those liabilities.

Make the Organization a Beneficiary
Another easy way to facilitate charitable giving is to make the chosen organization(s) a beneficiary of your life insurance policy and/or retirement plan accounts. Be sure to let the organization know that you’ve made them your beneficiary and the name of the insurer or plan sponsor/custodian.

It is important to note that, since life insurance proceeds are not subject to estate taxes when left to individuals, it could be advantageous to make your heirs the beneficiary of your policy and leave taxable estate assets to the charity. One of our advisors can help you determine which is the best decision for your situation.

Charitable Trusts
Another popular choice for charitable giving is called the charitable remainder trust (CRT). A CRT allows donors to place assets intended for a charitable organization into the trust while continuing to take an income from the assets for a set number of years (20 years or less). In addition to receiving this income, the donor can also enjoy a partial tax deduction each year for the donated amount.

A charitable lead trust (CLT) offers yet another option. A CLT works by allowing a fixed percentage of total trust assets to be paid to the charity for a certain number of years. After that time, your heirs receive the remainder of the assets. With this type of trust, it’s important to remember that gift taxes may be due upon transferring assets in, however it can reduce your overall income tax and allow for charitable deductions.

As you can see, there are a number of ways you can get your assets to the people and the organizations you care about. Contact Kramer Wealth Managers today to discover all the ways an estate plan can be designed so that your legacy impacts everyone you want it to, while possibly reducing some of the taxes you pay today.