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Charitable planning is beneficial for your estate in more ways than one. Not only do you have a chance to give one last gift to a cause that may be near and dear to your heart, but there are tax advantages to both you and your heirs. But with so many options available, how do you go about creating a plan that’s right for your estate?
The Nashville charitable planning attorneys at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC have worked with countless clients throughout Middle Tennessee planning their estate. With years of experience in estate planning and administration, we can advise you on the right plan for your needs and make sure final wishes are carried out to the fullest extent.
Charitable Gifts – Which is Right for You?
There are quite a few different types of charitable gifts available for you to choose from.
Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRTs) – A charitable remainder trust allows you to convert highly appreciated assets into lifetime income. When trust assets are sold, capital gains tax is avoided. In addition, individuals also get a charitable income tax deduction when the trust is funded, which reduces their income taxes.
You can transfer the appreciated asset into an irrevocable trust. By doing this, there will be no estate taxes due on it once you pass away. The trustee can then sell the asset at the full market value without worrying about paying the capital gains tax and then reinvest the proceeds.
Charitable Lead Trusts (CLTs) – A charitable lead trust 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. You can transfer either cash or any other assets into this trust.
Outright Distributions to Charity — 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 Foundation – This is a charitable organization that is funded by family assets. Donors establishing foundations have significant control over how much is given to a charity, and how gifts may be used.
In addition, 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.
Charitable Deductions – Charitable Planning
If you are planning to make a charitable donation, you may want to take a close look at which organizational donations can give you a tax deduction. By contacting the IRS, you will be able to find out if the organization counts for the deduction but be sure to keep this confirmation when filing your taxes.
Such organizations which qualify for a tax deduction include:
Religious organizations: churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, etc.
Public proceeds by the federal, state and local governments
Nonprofit schools, hospitals, and volunteer fire companies
Public parks and recreation facilities
Salvation Army, United Way, Red Cross, Goodwill, Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts
War veterans’ groups
There is a limit to the number of deductions you may qualify for. It is limited to 50% of your adjusted gross income and may be limited to 20 or 30 percent of your adjusted gross income depending on the type and amount of property you donate and the type of organization you give to.
Contact Our Tennessee Estate Planning Lawyers Now
If you’re interested in charitable gifting, it’s best to speak with an experienced estate planning lawyer to guide you through the process. The charitable planning attorneys at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard can help you decide which kind of charitable trust or foundation is right for you, and assist in the execution of your overall estate plans.
Our firm offers dedicated legal services to people in 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.