Are you looking for an effective way to financially support causes that are near and dear to your heart? Charitable Giving within a living trust can provide an opportunity to continue a legacy of giving that you have practiced during your lifetime. Charitable Giving within your Living Trust not only allows you to help organizations in need, but can also provide unique tax incentives that could benefit your family in the future. By implementing Charitable Giving in your Estate Plan, you will be leaving behind a legacy of generosity that supports the causes you believe in most. Read on to learn more about how to set up charitable giving within a living trust today.
Define Your Goals
Generosity is a powerful and rewarding way of making an impact in the world. Determine what charitable causes you want to support. Do you desire to give based upon the needs of an organization and the mission they have? Do you focus more on long-term solutions and social change? Do you really want to provide a financial pathway for an organization to deliver a program or address the root cause of an issue?
Choose the Amount of Your Gift
You need to decide whether to allocate a set amount of money or a percentage of your overall estate. Remember, “estate” doesn’t mean “wealth”. Everyone has an estate. Your house, your checking account, your life insurance. These are all part of your “estate”. Allocating a set amount of money is most appropriate for small gifts. If your Charitable Giving goals are bigger, you should consider allocating a percentage of your overall estate. Keep in mind that this percentage could be calculated based upon either your gross estate or net estate (the amount leftover after all of your expenses are paid).
Decide what you want your Gift used for
Do you simply want to leave a gift for an organization to use for their “general charitable purposes”? Or would you like to be more specific? You can choose to leave the gift for an existing fund with the organization, for a specific purpose, or even to benefit a specific class of individuals who benefit from the organization. The beauty of this is that you get to choose!
Decide whether you want to control which assets to use for your Gift
When it comes to Charitable Giving, there can be unique tax incentives for your family. For instance, you could instruct your Successor Trustee to use Trust assets for your Charitable Giving that are considered “income”. This would reduce the taxable income passing to your family. You could also instruct your Successor Trustee to use highly appreciated assets for your Charitable Giving. This would reduce the capital gains tax passing to your family. If you are looking to include Charitable Giving in your Estate Plan or would like to find out more about your options, contact Cornerstone Legal today.
Give me a call at (517) 708-2222 or email me at Katrina@CornerstoneLegalPLLC.com.