Guide to Life Estate Gifts

Image of large, stately home with trees and lawn.

I’ve been getting more and more questions from clients about Life Estate gifts. Many people have real estate they do not wish to leave to heirs at their passing and they’re looking for options. A life estate is pretty simple, in theory. A donor gives their residence, vacation property, or farm to charity and reserves…

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What’s the Deal with Donating Savings Bonds?

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Have you ever been approached by a donor who wants to donate United States savings bonds? Sounds like a wonderful idea, doesn’t it? The donor probably purchased or received the bonds many years ago and they are reluctant to cash them in due to the associated income tax on the earnings. Why not donate them?…

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Charitable Gift Annuities Are Back in Fashion – Should You Issue Them?

When I first started working in gift planning 20 years ago, Charitable Gift Annuities were all the rage. Charities were issuing them right and left, because they provided such attractive benefits to donors. Both payout rates and charitable income tax deductions were high. In the midst of the dot-com boom, it was like another gold…

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The Most Important Step to Any Non-Cash Gift

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Gifts of things like real estate, stock, and life insurance may seem very different from one another, but the gift acceptance process for all non-cash gifts is the same. These same five steps apply to all non-cash gifts, but one of them stands out as by far the most important – Evaluate for Opportunity and…

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Gifts of Private Stock: Don’t Get Caught Off-Guard

Gifts of private stock can be incredibly valuable, but they come with some additional complexity you don’t find with public stock. I’ve seen a number of charities get themselves into sticky situations with gifts of private stock, because they didn’t understand some important, but basic details. For example, they get stuck owning it long-term because…

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How to Avoid a Pre-Arranged Sale: New Guidance

For many years, the rules on what constituted a pre-arranged sale have been confusing. Various sources of law offered conflicting advice, so how were we to know what to do? Fortunately, we have some new advice that gives us more solid guidance about how to avoid this situation. Before we get to that new guidance,…

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How Charities Can Use DAFs to Their Advantage

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There is one topic that charities continue to ask me about – Donor Advised Funds. They ask questions about DAFs when I’m on stage speaking to an audience. They ask questions about DAFs when I’m helping them with their non-cash gifts. The questions just keep on coming, SO, I thought I would share some DO’s…

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Charitable Tax Form Bingo

In the spirit of tax season, I thought I’d clear up confusion you may have about all the tax forms related to charitable giving. I get a LOT of questions about these tax forms, so I think it’s time to explain them in terms that everyone will understand. Taxes are confusing enough, so we’re going…

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Why Can’t We Be Friends?

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Many charities avoid asking donors to give non-cash assets like stock or real estate because they don’t have the infrastructure to handle those gifts. They also shy away from talking about more sophisticated giving techniques, like charitable gift annuities, because they don’t have their own program. If this describes your organization, you’re in luck –…

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New QCD Rules: The Fine Print…

True to form, Congress passed another comprehensive year-end piece of legislation in late 2022 that made significant changes to rules for retirement assets, including some new provisions for Qualified Charitable Distributions. The legislation has been dubbed “SECURE Act 2.0”, because it addresses some of the same areas of law that the SECURE Act of 2020…

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