For many California residents, charitable giving is a rewarding part of estate planning. It allows them to provide financial assistance to charities and causes that are important to them. Additionally, including charitable giving in estate planning can help the donor and their family.
Tax benefits of charitable donations
There are several benefits linked to including charitable giving in an estate plan. These include income tax deductions, avoiding capital gain taxes on asset appreciations and reducing estate taxes.
Making charitable donations
There are several options for including charitable donations as a part of your estate plan. The option you choose will vary based on your end goals and your circumstances.
A popular form of charitable giving through estate planning is to bequest funds in a trust or will. You have the ability to choose a charity and donate a specific amount of money or a percentage of your estate through this option. One of the advantages of using bequests in this way is that they are clear-cut. They are easy to set up. If your circumstances change or priorities change, they are easy to adjust.
Strategies for estate planning
You likely want your estate planning charitable giving to have the maximum impact. One way to do this is by donating appreciated assets, including real estate, stocks and other assets. This can provide major tax benefits by helping you not have to pay capital gains taxes. Another technique is to use donor-advised funds. This allows you to get an immediate tax deduction for contributions. Then the funds can be given to a charity over time. The benefit of this is that it increases your control and flexibility over your charitable giving.
Finding the time to engage in estate planning can be a challenge. However, planning your estate and choosing to include charitable giving can positively impact you now and protect your financial legacy when you’re gone.