Don’t Forget What’s Important to You When Doing Your Estate Plan

More than half of people in the United States give to charitable and faith-based organizations during their lives. However, it’s estimated that less than 10% leave a portion of their estate to these organizations when they pass away. It’s not known why there’s such a difference between these two time periods. Regardless of the reason, you should know there are a variety of ways to give to charitable and faith-based organizations at your passing and they don’t have to be complicated. These are a few:

  1. Name an organization as a beneficiary of your IRA or life insurance policy. You can do this by getting a beneficiary designation form and then listing the organizations as primary beneficiaries for a specific amount or percentage. While this approach is very simple, you’ll need to coordinate the ownership and beneficiary designation of your other assets so they reflect the particular amounts or percentages you want to leave your non-charitable beneficiaries.
  2. Name an organization in your trust or last will and testament. When you create a trust or last will and testament, you can decide what organizations to include. Similar to a beneficiary designation, this can be based on a specific amount or percentage of you assets. The way this works is that upon your passing, all of your assets go to your trust or follow your last will and testament. Your trustee or personal representative then issues checks to the organizations for the specific amount or percentage described in your trust or last will and testament. This is a very straightforward way to assure your goals and overall plan is carried out.
  3. Name an organization as a remainder owner on the deed to your house. If you own a home and would like it to go to charitable and faith-based organizations upon your passing, a simple way to do this is to name the organizations as the remainder owner on the deed. This means that you enjoy the right to live in your home for the test of your life, but upon your passing, it would automatically go to the organizations. This is beneficial because you’ll get a charitable income tax deduction during your life. It’s also very simple to do because it can be accomplished with a deed.

If you have any questions about this charitable planning, feel free to contact me at phmulder@cunninghamdalman.com.

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