As we progress throughout our lives, we seek meaning in our family, social, religious and work relationships.
“The future must be seen in terms of what a person can do to contribute something, to make something better, to make it go where he believes with all his being it ought to go.” - Frederick R. Kappel
When we do succeed in finding religious, charitable or social meaning in our lives, one avenue of honoring this can be to make a financial gift to an organization or institution which develops, reflects, or embodies this meaning in our lives. Making such a gift can leave a legacy that is in itself helpful and meaningful to others, i.e., passing on the benefits of our life journey. The amazing benefits and legacies of such giving can especially be seen all around St. Louis, from the St. Louis Zoo to the Missouri Botanical Gardens to Forest Park.
There are a variety of gifting methods available which can comfortably be incorporated in your estate plan. These can be during your lifetime, following your death, or a combination of both; can include gifts of cash or of appreciated assets (with tax benefits as well!); can be outright or in trust; and can be honoring (such as recognition gifts) or incentivizing (such as matching programs). The options when it comes to charitable gifting are endless, and you can truly tailor your legacy specifically to your own goals for the memory you want to leave.
Some examples include:
- Outright gifts of cash or appreciated assets; these gifts typically provide income and/or estate tax advantages (in accordance with IRS prescribed rules and limits).
- Gifts to charitable foundations or donor advised funds, which can implement or continue the gifting process and identification of the recipient charities over time.
- Charitable Lead Trusts that contribute funds into a trust that disperses charitable gifts for a period of time or over the course of one or more lifetimes, with the remainder of the trust reverting back to family members after the end of the lead period.
- Charitable Remainder Trusts that contribute funds into a trust that disperses income amounts (typically to the grantor of the trust or family members) for a period of time or over the course of one or more lifetimes, with the remainder of the trust payable to one or more charities at the end of the income distribution period.
Our goal is to assist our clients in focusing their charitable goals and designing appropriate strategies to accomplish those goals whether it be to reap the tax benefits during life or at death, or to simply leave a memory others can enjoy for generations to come.