The giving ideas highlighted here may provide a way for you to make the gift a lifetime while at the same time providing significant benefits for yourself and your loved ones. Through your will, trust, retirement plans or insurance, you can plan gifts in ways that have little or no impact on your present financial position. You even may be able to increase your income today as you arrange for future gifts.
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We welcome an opportunity to discuss the many options with you in confidence. We stand ready to work with you and your attorney or financial advisor to outline the specific benefits of the options that interest you most. Please feel free to call Danda Beard, director of WILL Major Gifts Program, at (217)333-1070.
A will is the simplest way to distribute your estate and it
can be used as a creative vehicle to make thoughtful gifts to those charities you care about most.
By creating a will or having your attorney make a simple revision to your will, you can provide for the needs of loved ones and choose one of several ways to benefit charitable organizations and institutions you have enjoyed supporting. You can make a gift of a certain dollar amount, a specific property, a percentage of your estate, or what is left after you have taken care of your loved ones. You may also wish to name charitable recipients in case one or more heirs do not survive you.
If, like many others, you have chosen to rely on a revocable living trust to pass your property on to loved ones while minimizing probate costs, consider how you might add a charitable dimension to this plan as well. Similar to a charitable bequest through a will, such a gift is deductible from estate taxes and can be delayed until all family members have been provided for.
We would be most honored to be remembered as part of your legacy.
A gift of stocks, mutual funds, or other publicly traded securities earns you an income tax charitable deduction equal to the fair market value of the securities on the date of the gift, applicable to any securities that you have owned for more than one year. The transfer of appreciated stock to a named charity, such as WILL AM-FM-TV, can also enable you to avoid capital gains taxes. If you hold assets that have declined in value and would like to make a gift, it may be to your advantage to sell the property and perhaps generate a deductible loss. The proceeds may then be donated as a tax-deductible contribution, further reducing your income taxes.
You can make a gift of a home or certain other real estate while retaining the use of the property for as long as you live. Using a life estate arrangement, you can make a gift of your home or farm now but retain the security of knowing you may live there as long as you wish. The satisfaction of giving, as well as a tax deduction, may be enjoyed now rather than later. You continue to take care of the property, pay the taxes and even receive any income it generates. But, because you have made a gift of the property by deed, it does not pass through your probate estate at death, possibly saving unnecessary expenses and delays.
Whether you are participating in a company pension plan or other private plan, such as an Individual Retirement Account, you may find that you have accumulated funds beyond your likely need for the comfortable support of yourself and loved ones. Such excess funds may be given during life (subject to minimum age requirements for penalty-free withdrawals) or at death. Either way, a gift from such accounts can help perpetuate work you consider vital for the well being of future generations. It can be satisfying to know that the funds you carefully save over a lifetime may ultimately be put to good use now or as a part of prudent estate planning. Keep in mind that in many retirement plans, any funds remaining in the account at death may be subject to very high taxes if left to non-charitable heirs.
Another simple way to make a significant gift in the future is to name a charitable beneficiary to receive all or a portion of the proceeds of a life insurance policy no longer needed for its original purpose. As life progresses, children become self-sufficient, or an investment provides unexpected income. Not all life insurance coverage may be needed for the reason it was initially purchased. Another way to make a gift of insurance is to purchase a new policy, naming a favorite organization as beneficiary or co-beneficiary. You may thus ensure a gift "on the installment plan" which may be much larger than its cost.
A charitable remainder trust is a way to make a gift that allows you to retain income from your property for life or for another period of time that you specify. Your funds are held separately and invested for payment of a fixed or variable income to you and/or someone else you name. Such payments may be a welcome supplement to your retirement plan. Ensuring management of assets is another benefit of the plan. When the trust ends (at the death of the income recipient or at the end of the period of time you specified), whatever remains in the trust is distributed for the charitable purposes you specify. A tax deduction is allowed at the time you create your trust. The size of the deduction depends on the beneficiary age(s), payment percentage and other factors.
A charitable lead trust is a substantial gift over a period of years while ensuring that the property will ultimately return to the donor or loved ones. The lead trust is one of the few ways to reduce or eliminate taxes that otherwise would be due on assets left to children or grandchildren. Under the terms of a charitable lead trust, assets are transferred to a trust that pays income to one or more charitable recipients for a number of years you determine. At the end of that period, the assets remaining are returned to you or other persons you name.
The information provided here is not intended as legal, tax, or investment advice. For such advice, please consult your attorney, tax professional, or investment professional.