Many people want to continue their support of charitable organizations through their estate plans — but feel they must provide for family members first. While that’s an entirely understandable sentiment, there are ways to combine support for family and charity.
Charitable remainder trusts — Sam is a widower with two children, both of whom are provided for generously through annual gifts and in Sam’s estate plan. But Sam also wants to help his younger brother, Mike. Sam could create a trust that will pay income to Mike for life, with the assets then passing to charity at Mike’s death.
Remainder in a home or farm — Marilyn and Phil purchased the family home from Marilyn’s mother following her father’s death. Her mother still lives in the home with the couple. Although Marilyn thinks she and Phil will outlive her mother, she wants the assurance that if anything happens to the two of them, her mother could continue living in the home. Their estate plan provides that if Marilyn’s mother is alive at their deaths, the house will pass to charity, subject to her mother’s right to live in the home for life.
Charitable lead trust — Steve would like to make a significant gift to charity, but he wants to leave sizeable gifts to his grandchildren. His lawyer suggested that Steve consider a charitable lead trust that will pay income annually to charity for a period of years and then distribute the assets to his grandchildren. When the lead trust ends, assets could pass outright to the grandchildren — who would hopefully be more mature — or they could pass to trusts that would provide income to the grandchildren for life.
Charitable gift annuity — Sylvia owns U.S. savings bonds that her financial adviser has informed her will be subject to income tax at her death. She intended to leave the bonds to her sister, Mary, but her sister would owe tax on the untaxed interest. Sylvia is instead leaving the bonds to charity, conditioned on the funding of a charitable gift annuity for Mary, who will receive quarterly payments for life based on the full value, with no loss to taxes.