Charitable Giving & Estate Planning
Estate planning creates a master plan for the management of your property during life and the distribution of that property at death.
The most basic documents of an estate plan includes:
- Financial Powers of Attorney to arrange for continued management of your affairs while incapacitated.
- Medical Powers of Attorney appoint a person to act on your behalf concerning medical decisions when you are unable to do so. A medical power should also include instructions regarding the use of extraordinary medical measures to prolong life. This feature is often called an Advanced Health Directive, and may be a separate document.
- Last Will and Testament exists primarily to handle custody of minor or disabled children and to give specific bequests of property.
- Revocable Living Trusts have become a primary means of delivering assets to heirs as a way to avoid probate. Historically, it has also been used to reduce estate taxes. However, this strategy has become less important with the increasing amount of assets exempted from federal estate tax.
Charitable giving is motivated by both personal reasons and tax incentives. Given a choice, very few people would like to see the IRS as a primary beneficiary of their estate. There are uncomplicated yet powerful planning techniques available to ensure that your heirs and favorite charities are your primary beneficiaries. Charitable planning involves selecting the gifted property and charitable structure that will satisfy your philanthropic needs in the most tax efficient manner.
Appreciated real estate and appreciated securities provide opportunities for gifting property to charitable causes. Likewise, qualified accounts such as IRAs are a primary source of tax-smart giving. For more complex situations, we are able to support clients by managing the portfolios in their charitable remainder trusts, private foundations, and donor advised funds.
We work closely with attorneys and CPAs in devising clients' strategies for meeting all of their goals in contributing to causes and leaving a lasting legacy.