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At Katz Baskies & Wolf PLLC, we encourage our clients to incorporate philanthropy into their estate planning.  We understand the important role charitable giving plays for many of our clients, and we know that many of our clients wish to perpetuate their lifetime charitable giving. Our firm advises our clients on the best strategies to support to the causes they care about while also reaping the tax benefits available when donating to charitable organizations, whether they be charitable trusts, public charities, donor advised funds or private foundations.

Methods of Charitable Planning

Florida and federal laws allow several different ways to incorporate charitable planning into your overall estate planning. Some of the most popular techniques include:

  • Charitable Trusts: Charitable trusts are often used to accomplish charitable gift planning.  There are many different types of charitable trusts to suit various methods of goal-oriented charitable giving, including a variety of charitable lead trusts and charitable reminder trusts.
  • Life Estate Deed: When real estate is being left to a charity, a life estate deed is a popular way to transfer ownership of the property to the charitable institution. A life estate deed allows the owner of the land to generate a current tax deduction, yet retain the use of the property until death.  On death, the property automatically vests in the charitable organization without having to first go through a lengthy probate process.
  • Donor Advised Fund: A donor advised fund is a vehicle for charitable giving which is administered by a sponsor organization. The donors to the fund see immediate tax benefits and also have a say in how the funds are invested and spent. Final authority on the charitable distributions lies with the sponsor organization, while the donors offer suggestions and advice.
  • Private Foundation: By placing their own restrictions on the way a foundation may use the funds given to it, the creator of a private foundation is able to retain significant control over how much and who receives the funds the foundation generates.
  • Charitable Gift Annuity: A charitable gift annuity is created by a donor and a charity, where the donor donates funds to a charitable institution in exchange for a partial tax credit as well as lifetime payments of a fixed amount (i.e., an annuity). This technique is governed by a contract and is referred to as a charitable gift annuity.

Benefits of Charitable Planning

There are several benefits to employing charitable planning, including:

  • Avoidance of capital gains taxes.
  • A reduction in the size of your taxable estate.
  • The honor for you and your heirs of having created an endowment.
  • Personal benefits which may be received via charitable trusts or gift annuity agreements.

Let Us Help You Craft a Plan For Charitable Giving

Charitable gifting, when properly executed, not only supports a cause that is close to your heart, it also affords you much-needed tax relief. Contact the estate planning attorneys at Katz Baskies & Wolf PLLC to discuss how charitable planning can benefit your overall estate plan.