Charitable planning is usually driven by values, but also can be incorporated into planning for tax purposes.
While many people give to charity, few spend any amount of time thinking about “how” to give to charity. The usual gift is a dollar amount that is given over at death. This is typically poor planning. Missing are instructions on how to make the gift and from which assets the gift should be drawn. Certain assets are subject to income taxes if passed on to your beneficiaries, and thus make better gifts for charities since they can pass tax free to a charity.
Another reason to engage in thoughtful charitable planning is it allows you to maximize your charitable gift. The popular conception when it comes to charitable planning is that by giving something to charity, you are taking away from your family. As a consequence, most people give less to charity than they otherwise could or would prefer in the interest of playing it safe. However, charitable planning does not have to be a zero sum game, and there are strategies for ensuring your spouse and children are taken care of while providing more for charities at the end of the day, all while keeping taxes and costs as low as possible.
If you would like to know more about how to make your charitable goals work synergistically with your estate planning needs, contact Goosmann Trust Law Counsel for a consultation.