In estate planning, charitable giving involves setting aside a certain proportion of your wealth or assets to benefit a nonprofit organization or cause that is important to you. By including charitable gifts in your estate plan, you can leave a philanthropic legacy that allows you to make a lasting positive impact on the world. Let’s explore the steps you can take to protect your assets while achieving your philanthropic goals.
Benefits of Charitable Giving in Estate Planning
Charitable giving can play a significant role in any comprehensive estate plan. In addition to the benefits of knowing that your decisions will change lives for the better, charitable giving also offers tax advantages. Your cash donations are tax deductible. Furthermore, donations of appreciated assets can eliminate your capital gains tax liability and reap the benefits of a tax deduction on the asset’s fair market value.
Strategies for Effective Charitable Giving
There are several strategies you can use to incorporate charitable giving into your estate plan, such as:
- Trusts – Charitable remainder trusts allow you to donate assets to a trust that provides income to you or your beneficiaries for a period of time, after which the remainder goes to the charity. Charitable lead trusts pay income to the charity first, with the remainder returning to you or your heirs.
- Donor-advised funds – These funds allow you to make irrevocable charitable donations during your lifetime. You can then recommend grants from the fund to your chosen charities.
- Charitable gift annuities – These allow you to transfer assets to a charity in exchange for fixed annuity payments for life. The remaining assets pass to the charity upon your death.
- Naming a charity as beneficiary – You can name a charity as beneficiary of assets such as life insurance, IRAs, or donor-advised funds.
The Role of an Estate Planning Lawyer
A knowledgeable estate planning lawyer can help you prepare your bequest in several ways. They can:
- Craft customized strategies to maximize tax benefits and ensure your assets are distributed as you wish
- Work closely with you to select the best charitable giving options based on your preferences and assets
- Handle the legal and administrative details to incorporate charitable giving in your estate plan
- Update your estate plan over time to adapt to changing tax laws and your evolving priorities
Having an experienced estate planning attorney by your side provides valuable guidance and peace of mind as you make end-of-life decisions.
Contact Pennington Law, PLLC, for a Free Consultation
The experienced Arizona estate planning attorneys at Pennington Law, PLLC, help clients in Surprise, Sun City West, and neighboring areas find the most effective charitable giving strategies for their portfolios. With our guidance, you can feel confident that you will leave a lasting legacy for your family and the causes you care about. Contact our team today for a free consultation.