Charitable giving and estate planning do not have to be complicated.
You are working on your estate planning.
You have decided you want to leave a legacy by providing funds to a specific organization or cause.
What is the best way to do this?
According to a recent The Jewish News article titled “Keeping it (charitable estate planning) simple,” there are several methods you could choose.
What are they?
Bequests are made through your will.
Your attorney can prepare language leaving a specified amount to your chosen charity, as well as any specific purposes for the bequest.
You can choose to pledge money to a charity while you are alive.
If you change your mind, you can withdraw the pledge while you are alive.
If your pledge stands at the time of your passing, the payments must then be made by your executor.
Name the charity as a beneficiary.
If you have a particular financial asset, you can directly name a charity as a beneficiary.
What would these include?
These assets could be insurance policies, donor advised funds or an IRA.
These funds will be paid to the charity upon your death.
Leverage an IRA
If you give to charity through an IRA during your life or death, you could see great tax benefits.
How would you do this?
You could have your tax manager set up a charitable beneficiary.
You could also donate to charity through your Required Minimum Distributions.
This would have immediate tax benefits if the money were transferred directly to a charity.
Use a charitable gift annuity.
What is this exactly?
The easiest way to describe it is a specific bank account.
It will pay annual guaranteed lifetime income to you or a beneficiary.
The rates are usually higher than those of investments.
How are they calculated?
They are determined based on your age.
You can give this money to your charity while you are alive and the remaining amount will also go to the charity when you are not.
There are many options when it comes to charitable giving, but not all will be best for your unique circumstances and goals.
Work with an experienced estate planning attorney to determine the best tools for you.
So, how do you find an "experienced" estate planning attorney?
First, ask around. Friends, family and other professional advisors are trustworthy sources.
Second, conduct an "organic" search on "Google" for "estate planning" near you (e.g., "Estate Planning Anytown MoKan").
Third, either way, verify! Check out the education, experience, ratings and client reviews of any attorney before you contact him or her.
In fact, I use both of these services to thoroughly vett attorneys before referring members of our "client" family for legal help in other areas of law or for matters in jurisdictions outside Kansas or Missouri.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: Jewish News (June 21, 2017) “Keeping it (charitable estate planning) simple”