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Charitable Planning & Trust Attorney

Supporting charities important to them is something many people enjoy during their lifetime. In fact, Giving USA statistics show Americans gave more than $410 billion to charity in 2018. Extending charitable generosity beyond life—in the event of incapacity or death—is not difficult but takes some pre-planning. An estate planning attorney can help you make decisions about your Charitable Planning.

Planned charitable giving can support two goals–generating income while pursuing philanthropy. The federal government sets up tax incentives for charitable giving to reduce income tax, capital gains tax, and estate taxes. But the reductions are not always straightforward and certain conditions must be met for eligibility which is another reason to consider obtaining expert advice on planned charitable giving.

Slater & Zurz, a local law firm, offers estate planning attorneys who have several strategies and combinations of strategies to those interested in Charitable Planning. The person who provides the money is known as the “donor.”

Charitable giving during your lifetime

Donor-advised funds (DAF)

A donor-advised fund allows charitable giving to multiple charities in Ohio or elsewhere. Monies are donated to a public foundation that administers the funds.

The donor, or his assignee, reserves the right to advise the administrator about which charities to support. Many donors like this plan because they don’t have to be concerned about supervising the fund but have a say in how the money is distributed. You can get more information about this plan from your estate planning lawyer who will help you decide if it could work for you.

Private foundations

This provides another vehicle to give to multiple charities but a private foundation, sometimes established by a family with its own board of directors, is created to control the funds. A private foundation gives the donor more say, but someone must invest the funds, select grant recipients, qualify applicants and carry out other administrative functions. Private foundations must follow numerous requirements and are more expensive to operate than other options.

You can ask your estate planning lawyer about the advantages and disadvantages of setting up a private foundation.

Charitable giving while also generating income

Charitable Gift Annuity

This is an arrangement in which a person makes a gift to a charity and the charity commits to making a quarterly or annual annuity payment (a fixed sum of money) back to the donor for the remainder of the donor’s life. Appreciation on the gifted assets remains after the donor’s death and the charity retains the remainder.

This is a great way to receive a charitable tax deduction and ensure a steady income during retirement with other tax benefits as well. It can be something like “hitting two birds with one stone,” but you should consult a legal advisor, such as a Slater & Zurz LLP attorney, before settling on this choice for charitable giving. There are questions to ask such as what is the amount of the gift you must give in order to receive an annuity.

Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT)

This is like a Charitable Gift Annuity but the assets are held by a Trust and trustees control investment of the assets and administration of the trust. The Trust makes annuity payments to the donor or the heirs (the trust beneficiaries) for a certain period of time.

When the annuity period is over, the remaining assets, plus appreciation, transfer to the charity.

Charitable Lead Trust (CLT)

This is like a Charitable Remainder Trust except the charity receives the annuity payments and the trust’s beneficiaries receive the remainder. The total annuity payments the charity receives make up the charitable tax deduction.

Other Charitable giving strategies

Life Estate Agreement

In this arrangement, ownership of property is transferred to a charity organization in Ohio and the owner can continue living on it and receive a tax break, but will not have to surrender the property until death. Any income or benefits generated by the property usually goes to the donor during his lifetime. The tax deduction is equal to the charity’s remainder interest.

Conservation Easement

To achieve a conservation goal such as the preservation of wetlands, an agreement is made between a landowner and a government agency or land trust that restricts how a piece of land will be used. The trust agency enforces the agreement and it is binding on all future owners of the land.

The agreement usually reduces the fair market value of the land due to restricted development. A charitable tax deduction is available for the decrease in market value.

Bargain Sale to Charity

This is a donation of property that allows the donor to recoup some of the property value. The donor sells the property to the charity significantly below market value. The donor/seller receives a charitable tax deduction equal to the difference between the full market value and the price the charity paid for the property.

There are more charitable gift vehicles that can be employed or included in a Will or Trust such as Individual Retirement Account (IRA) Gifts at Death, Charitable Pledges on Death, and others. You should your estate planning attorney if any of these are good options for your charitable giving plan.

Choosing a Charitable Plan

Once you have decided what type of charities you wish to gift, you can ask Slater & Zurz LLP to create a plan to allocate your financial resources and/or anticipated resources deciding if you want to gift during your lifetime or at a later date. If you are interested in tax benefits or income from Charitable Planning, you will likely want to ascertain what strategy is best to achieve those goals.

The Slater & Zurz LLP attorney can also advise you about which charity to choose as well because some charities may not be eligible for certain charitable giving plans.

Slater & Zurz LLP has highly qualified estate planning attorneys with considerable experience in the probate arena. You will have an opportunity to “chat” with their 24/7/365 legal representatives, send e-mails to the firm explaining your needs, and gain more information about different estate planning matters.

Or, if you prefer the more personal approach, call the firm at 1-888-534-4850 and ask for an estate planning attorney. Slater & Zurz LLP has conveniently-located offices in Akron, Columbus, Cleveland, Canton, Toledo, and Cincinnati, Ohio. Arrangements can be made to meet with a Slater & Zurz estate planning attorney in other locations throughout Ohio if that is more accommodating.