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When to Think About Charitable Remainder Unitrust Alternatives

July 18, 2014

Filed under: Charitable Giving,Income Tax Planning,Taxes,Trusts — Tags: , , , — Neel Shah @ 4:40 pm

For many individuals approaching estate planning, charitable giving is going to factor into the equation somehow. The most popular way of passing on assets currently is through a charitable remainder unitrust, but it’s not necessarily the best option for everyone, although last year nearly $90 billion was held in U.S. trusts of this type.

When to Think About Charitable Remainder Unitrust Alternatives
(Photo Credit: lifehealthpro.com)

Here are some of the most common reasons that you might want to use something other than this trust vehicle for your charitable giving:

  • Tax Savings Today: You want maximize your current tax deduction. A charitable lead trust could be a better alternative for this situation, since you get an immediate federal income tax deduction when the gift is made. The tax deduction equals the present value of the future income stream.
  • You want the gift to begin now: Under a charitable lead trust, the client will typically gift the assets directly to a charitable trust. That trust then makes regular payments for a specific number of years or for life. Under a remainder trust, though, the charity doesn’t get anything until the trust’s term is up.
  • You want to see regular payouts: This is there’s a difference between a charitable remainder annuity trust and a unitrust. The annuity trust guarantees equal payouts throughout the length of the term (such as every year), which gives the person setting up the trust confidence that payments are being made at regular intervals.

When it comes to charitable giving, you have options. Contact us today to learn more via email info@lawesq.net or 732-521-9455 to get started.

Charitable Choices: Gifting Retirement Funds at Death

June 19, 2014

Filed under: Charitable Giving,Retirement Planning,Taxes — Tags: , , — Neel Shah @ 3:41 pm

Are you thinking about making a gift to a charity on your death? It might be a better option to instead consider gifting your retirement account, and there are a few different reasons for this. This can help to maximize the tax benefits for your estate, but also for the individual heirs benefitting from your estate.

Charitable Choices Gifting Retirement Funds at Death
(Photo Credit: bloomberg.com)

As of now, assets above the value of $5,340,000 that are outright transferred from a taxable estate are hit with a 40% tax, even though the individuals who receive those assets don’t have income taxes also taken out of that amount. There is, however, an exception to this, and it’s for IRAs, 401ks, and qualified retirement plans. They are categorized as ordinary income as distributions since the government has not yet taxed this money.

Gifts to charity are not subjected to the estate tax and are at the same time excluded from the taxable estate. The amount gifted to the charity can be deducted from your federal estate tax return to reduce your overall estate beneath the $5,340,000 referenced above. When done properly, this could mean that little or no federal estate tax is due upon your death, therefore meeting your goals of gifting charitably and maximizing the value of your assets for your beneficiaries.

To learn more about charitable giving and other strategies to accomplish estate planning goals, send us a message at info@lawesq.net or contact us via phone at 732-521-9455 to get started.