Es­tate plan­ning and char­i­ta­ble giv­ing

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Seniors - CON­TRIB­UTED

Char­i­ta­ble giv­ing comes in many forms. Some peo­ple do­nate an­nu­ally to their fa­vorite char­i­ties, while oth­ers may vol­un­teer their time or pro­fes­sional ser­vices.

One way many peo­ple choose to give to char­ity is to do­nate at the time of their death. In­clud­ing char­i­ta­ble giv­ing into an es­tate plan is won­der­ful way to sup­port a fa­vorite cause. When re­search­ing this ap­proach, it can be easy to be­come over­whelmed by ref­er­ences to tax codes, at­tor­ney fees and other items that can make in­clud­ing char­i­ta­ble gifts in one’s es­tate plan seem more com­plex than it needs to be.

• Dic­tate giv­ing in your will. When read­ing about char­i­ta­ble giv­ing and es­tate plan­ning, many peo­ple might be­gin to feel in­tim­i­dated by es­tate taxes, feel­ing their heirs won’t get as much of their money as they hoped. But Sch­wab Char­i­ta­ble notes that in­clud­ing a char­i­ta­ble con­tri­bu­tion in your es­tate plan will re­duce your es­tate tax li­a­bil­i­ties, which will help to max­i­mize the fi­nal value of your es­tate for your heirs. Speak with your es­tate at­tor­ney and en­sure your do­na­tion is spelled out in your will.

• Do­nate your retirement ac­count. An­other way to uti­lize an es­tate plan to do­nate to char­ity is to des­ig­nate the char­ity of your choice as the ben­e­fi­ciary on your retirement ac­count. Sch­wab Char­i­ta­ble notes that char­i­ties are ex­empt from both in­come and es­tate taxes, so choos­ing this op­tion guar­an­tees the char­ity will re­ceive 100 per­cent of the ac­count’s value once it has been liq­ui­dated.

• Ex­plore a char­i­ta­ble trust. Char­i­ta­ble trusts pro­vide an­other way to give back through es­tate plan­ning. A split-in­ter­est trust funds a trust in the char­ity’s name, and peo­ple who open one re­ceive a tax de­duc­tion any time money is trans­ferred into the trust. But the donors still con­trol the as­sets in the trust, which is passed onto the char­ity at the time of their deaths.

You have var­i­ous op­tions at your dis­posal in re­gard to char­i­ta­ble trusts, so speak to a fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sor to help you pick the best one for you.

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