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Charitable Planning

Trusts and Estates Attorneys Guiding Nashville Residents

There are many reasons why an individual may decide to make charitable gifts as part of their estate planning process. Aside from being benevolent, charitable gifts have certain other benefits, such as tax advantages for your heirs and you. There are also different options available for making charitable gifts, catered to each individual’s goals and desires. The Nashville charitable planning lawyers at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC can help you determine whether a will, a trust, or a combination of both is best for your needs. Our firm has extensive experience in all estate planning matters and assists clients throughout Williamson and Davidson Counties, offering detailed and knowledgeable legal services. If you have questions regarding how to plan your estate, you can contact our office today to find out more about how we can help.

Benefits and Methods of Charitable Planning

There are a variety of options available for bestowing charitable gifts. The following are common instruments that people may consider when planning their estate.

Charitable remainder trusts (CRTs), also known as charitable gift annuities, convert highly appreciated assets into lifetime income. When trust assets are sold, capital gains tax is avoided. Additionally, individuals also get a charitable income tax deduction when the trust is funded, reducing their income taxes. It also reduces estate taxes upon an executor’s death. Charitable remainder trusts are irrevocable and provide an individual with an income during their lifetime, with the remaining assets being distributed to specific charities upon their passing.

Charitable lead trusts (CLTs) may be established to give a certain amount of income to a charity for a set number of years. Once the set term has ended, the remaining assets of the trust may pass to family members and bypass estate and gift tax consequences. A charitable planning attorney can advise Nashville residents on whether this may be a better option than a CRT.

Charities can be named as beneficiaries in a person’s will or revocable trust. Additionally, specific retirement plans like IRAs, 401(k)s, or 403(b)s may be designated to a charity. Retirement plan assets left to a charity are also not subject to income or estate taxes.

Retained life estates gift real property, such as a home or another real estate holding, to a charity, but they grant the owner the right to use the property during their lifetime. This also allows for an income tax deduction.

Outright gifts to charities are a common option as well. Restricted gifts are those designated for a specific purpose, such as to build a structure or create a fund. Unrestricted gifts allow charities to choose how a donation will be spent. Outright gifts can be made either during an individual’s lifetime or at their death.

Private family foundations are also available, whereby individuals establish a charitable organization funded by family assets. Donors establishing foundations have significant control over how much is given to a charity, and how gifts may be used.

An experienced Nashville charitable planning attorney can help you determine which of these methods serves your needs, based on your assets, tax considerations, and your goals and interests.

Consult a Knowledgeable Lawyer at MHPS

Proper planning regarding charitable donations is important in order to maximize the benefits given to charities, as well as to the individual providing those gifts. The attorneys at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC assist Tennessee residents with establishing which kind of charitable trust or foundation is right for them, as well as helping them execute their overall estate plans. Our firm offers dedicated legal services to people in East Nashville, Franklin, Green Hills, Bellevue, Hermitage, and West Meade, as well as other communities across Williamson and Davidson Counties. If you have questions regarding how to give a charitable gift most effectively, or about any other estate planning matter, contact our office today to speak with a charitable planning lawyer in the Nashville area regarding your options. We can be reached online or at 615-800-7096.