Charitable Giving—Not Just for the Rich and Famous!
Whether you are Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, or just an ordinary Joe, the gifting principles, tax benefits, and philanthropic rewards of charitable giving can be relatively the same, regardless of how large, or how small, your gifting program. The potential for a charitable income tax deduction or an estate tax reduction, coupled with an enhanced charitable image and sense of personal fulfillment, can make the gifting of assets very attractive. The fact is, you don’t have to be superrich to reap the benefits of charitable giving.
Potential Benefits of Lifetime Gifts
Many estate plans include a program of making lifetime gifts. So, is it sometimes better to distribute assets this way, rather than bequeath them in a will or trust?
Lifetime gifts have the potential to offer important rewards and benefits. Here are some you may want to consider:
May reduce probate costs and taxes
Lifetime gifts, especially of income-producing assets, can potentially reduce the size of your estate. A smaller estate may mean decreased probate costs and may also reduce or eliminate income and estate taxes.
Lifetime gifts can be assets that will go to those you intend, for instance, your children or grandchildren, and not a former spouse or creditors. On the other hand, a will could be challenged or creditors’ claims could take precedence over your wishes.
Lifetime gifts are private. Only you, the recipients, and possibly the tax authorities, need to know the details. By contrast, what goes through probate is a matter of public record.
Making gifts during your life time allows you to experience the pleasure of seeing your loved ones enjoy them. It may also give your heirs the benefit of the assets when needed most.
A program of lifetime gifts may make good sense as part of your estate plan. The potential rewards and benefits may extend to you and your estate, as well as your heirs. Be sure to consult a qualified estate planning professional to find out more about lifetime gifts for your unique circumstances.
For more information on how you can incorporate any size lifetime charitable gift into your estate, call Jeff Best, CFP, at 614-839-2090 or click here to email.