Gayle Reeves' Blog

Charitable Giving

Gayle A. Reeves - Monday, October 18, 2010

Charitable giving is an estate planning tool that can be used to reduce income and estate taxes, and provide a benefit to the community. When deciding to make a charitable gift, a person is not limited to a gift of money. Many charitable organizations are accepting donations of motor vehicles, real property, annuities, stocks, and life insurance. A charitable gift may be extremely beneficial to the donor who wants to avoid the income tax consequences of liquidating an asset that has greatly appreciated in value.

Always make sure that an agency is a qualified charitable organization. If the agency is not qualified, your donation will not be tax deductible. Make sure the gift will be used for its intended purpose. Discuss any limitations with the agency ahead of time. Select an agency that has a history in the community. A charitable gift cannot be made if an agency is no longer in existence.

Local community foundations are excellent vehicles for charitable gifting. A community foundation is a non-profit organization that manages donor funds and distributes only the income to qualified charitable organizations. Donors may discuss issues of importance to them and the community foundation will find an organization that addresses those issues. A community foundation will permit donors to create their own funds that support causes important to them. The Community Foundation of Lorain County has over 30 years experience in managing and distributing donor funds to support qualified charitable needs.

Charitable giving can be as easy as bequeathing a gift of money to a school in a Will. It can be as complicated as creating Charitable Remainder Trusts or Charitable Gift Annuities, which provide the donor with a stream of income and gives the remainder to a named charitable organization. Donors should work with their professional advisors to create a plan that will accomplish their charitable goals while realizing maximum tax benefits.

For more information on charitable giving contact Gayle A. Reeves Co., L.P.A., Attorney at Law, Vineyard Square Plaza, 1607 State Route 60, Suite 10, Vermilion, OH 44089, call (440) 967-6565. Member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.