Estate & Gift Planning

  • Gift Annuities
  • Donor Advised Funds
  • Charitable Trusts
  • Charitable Remainder Annuity Trusts
  • Charitable Lead Trusts
  • Bequests
  • Various Church Endowment Funds
  • Estate Planning - The Will

The Lord certainly blesses us for the charitable giving that we do during our lifetime, but there may be situations where giving after our death or in anticipation of our death may also be appropriate. We often save for our retirement, perhaps long term care, or other lifetime needs. Since we cannot be certain of exactly what we will need, we may give less during our lifetime than we would like. A bequest in our will is a way to give to charity what we could not give during our lifetime.

How you leave a bequest to charity often creates a tax impact for your beneficiaries (or heirs). Most assets can be sold after your death without income tax to your beneficiaries, but there are some exceptions. A common exception is retirement plans. Making charity a direct beneficiary of your IRA or other retirement plan instead of leaving this portion of your general estate can save your beneficiaries the income tax they would have paid on your retirement plan.

It is also possible to make an irrevocable gift to charity during your life that is not fully transferred until your death. Giving a remainder interest in farmland to charity during your life allows you to keep the income from the farm during your life with the land passing to the charity at your death. A similar result can be obtained by contributing assets to a remainder trust. You receive a percentage of the assets each year as income during your life with the remainder going to charity upon your death. This type of trust is often used with highly appreciated assets that you want to sell. If the assets are transferred to the trust prior to sale, there is no capital gains tax payable on the sale. With either of these, a life estate or a charitable remainder trust, you receive a portion of the value transferred as a current charitable deduction depending on your age. These assets are also not included in your taxable estate.

For persons having estates large enough to owe estate taxes, there are also advantages to charitable lead trusts established at death that will allow beneficiaries to ultimately receive assets that the family wishes to retain, but at a lower estate tax cost.

The Apostolic Christian Church Endowment Fund committee is available to provide professional advice at no charge to anyone considering gifts to any Apostolic Christian charity.