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How to include charitable gifts in your estate plan

Making charitable giving a part of your estate plan can provide a meaningful way to leave a legacy for your essential causes. Planning for a post-death donation has tax benefits and can allow you to enjoy your assets while alive. The following illustrates some other benefits of charitable gifting and how to involve your Nevada family members in the process.

Charitable giving and tax benefits

Including charitable giving in your estate plan may be vital to you, but your heirs may disagree. It is essential that you do not leave it as a surprise for your family and that you explain why you decided to make a charitable bequest. Otherwise, your family can challenge your wishes, tie up the assets and reduce the charity’s benefit.

You might choose charitable gifting because donations made during your lifetime or via your will can reduce your income tax liability. If you donate appreciated assets to a charity, you also avoid the capital gains tax liability. Donating assets to a charity upon your death can also reduce the taxable value of your estate, potentially reducing the tax burden on your heirs.

Leaving an important legacy

Charitable gifts allow you to create a legacy that reflects your core beliefs and values while supporting causes you care about. It can also set an example and instill philanthropic values in your family, especially if you involve them in decision-making.

As you decide which charity will receive your donation, verify what assets they can accept. You can donate a variety of investments aside from cash, but not all charities have the knowledge or resources to manage certain asset types properly.

Flexible arrangements

You can integrate a variety of planned giving strategies into your estate plan. You can designate the charity as a beneficiary in your will or add it as a beneficiary to assets such as a life insurance policy or retirement account. You may also choose a gift annuity or set up a charitable trust. The method you choose depends on your wishes and your estate’s circumstances.

When supporting worthy causes, you are not restricted to leaving liquid assets, such as cash. You can donate stocks, mutual funds, real estate and other tangible assets. You can even donate an interest in a closely held business that will transfer upon your death.

Planned charitable giving is one way to leave a positive legacy. With proper thought and planning, your donation will benefit others long after you are gone.