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Planned Giving Methods

Increase the Impact of Your Philanthropy by Knowing What, How and When to Give

Increase the Impact of Your Philanthropy by Knowing What, How and When to Give

“I wish I could do more...”

Those are words that accompany so many of the gifts we receive. The truth is that there are dozens of ways for friends to “do more” for our future – if gifts are carefully planned. Gift planning is an art that combines financial planning, estate planning and tax planning techniques to enable friends to make gifts of surprising significance, often with dramatic tax and financial rewards.

The need for careful planning becomes clear when people consider the basic questions involved in making an important gift: What should I give; how should I give, when should I give, and are there special purposes my gift should accomplish?

Planning What to Give

Surprisingly, there are different tax results from giving different types of property. Consider for example, highly appreciated securities. If stocks have been owned more than one year, then donors can deduct not just their original cost, but also any “paper profit” present in the gift. Best of all, no capital gains taxes are due when you give securities. Real estate, mutual funds and other types of property offer the same advantages. At death, it makes sense to leave “tax-burdened” assets, such as U.S. savings bonds and death benefits from retirement accounts, to charities, thus allowing heirs to avoid income and death taxes.

Planning How to Give

You might want to join our many friends who have helped through bequests – gifts through their wills or living trusts. You also could choose to make a gift that reserves lifetime income to you or a family member. We would benefit in the same manner as if you had made a bequest, but you would be entitled to charitable deductions and other tax benefits today.

Or you may prefer the simplicity of an immediate gift of cash or property. By tailoring the form of your gift to fit your personal situation, you can gain maximum tax rewards, maintain financial security and make a truly meaningful contribution.

Planning When to Give

Many people plan gifts at year-end to provide important tax deductions. Or they may find charitable contributions most helpful in years when they have a large influx of taxable income, from a bonus, sale of a business or successful investment, or conversion of a regular IRA to a Roth IRA. As noted above, large deductions are available even if you retain lifetime income from your gift. But the most practical time to make significant gifts may be through your estate plan, by means of a will, living trust or beneficiary designation on a life insurance policy or retirement account. Such gifts are wholly revocable while you are alive and may save significant taxes for your estate.

Planning the Purposes of Your Gift

Your support should be carefully planned to ensure your personal satisfaction. Your gift can be established as a memorial to a loved one or special friend. You may want to earmark your gift for a particular program or purpose, or simply say that your gift may be applied wherever the need is greatest.

We invite you to explore with us the many sides of your own planned giving and the meaning your personal philanthropy can have for both you and our future!

Make a Gift Through Your Estate

Most people would like to make their mark on the world – to do something that leaves the earth a better place. Your contributions to our future make a statement about your thoughtfulness. Why not continue that support through your estate plan?

  • Consider a bequest. Gifts through your will can be of a particular item, dollar amount or a percentage of your estate. They can be contingent (passing to us only if another beneficiary dies before you) or in trust, providing income to your spouse or children before passing for our benefit.
    Sample Bequest Wording Document (MS Word)
    Your Will to Help
  • Give life insurance. You can name us as the beneficiary of a policy on your life or contribute an old policy that you no longer need. Tax savings are excellent.
  • Leave bank accounts. Ask the account manager how savings or checking accounts, CDs or other financial accounts can be made payable to us upon your death.
  • Include us as a beneficiary of your revocable living trust.

  • Leave tax-burdened property. Your estate can save both income taxes and estate taxes if you make us beneficiary of part or all of your IRA or other retirement account. Family members might keep only 30 cents on the dollar, after taxes, from these assets. U.S. savings bonds also make tax-wise bequests.

Timing Can Be Everything

Artful gift planning often is a matter of seizing opportunities and acting at just the right time. Please call our office before you:

  • Sell investments at a profit
  • Make or amend your will or establish a living trust
  • Sell your business
  • Roll over low-interest CDs or bonds at maturity
  • Name beneficiaries for pension plans or life insurance.
  • Are any of the planning ideas we have discussed of particular interest to you? We would be happy to talk over all the possibilities with you and your advisers. Just send back the reply form or contact our office.


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