This year is almost over, which means it’s time to make your tax-deductible year-end donations. While thinking about which charitable causes to support, you can also consider incorporating charitable giving into your Estate Planning.

It’s never too early to start thinking about your Estate Plan. While you can enjoy giving each year to causes near and dear to your heart, you can also plan to give when you pass away to ensure you leave a lasting legacy.

Applegate & Dillman Elder Law is encouraging you to make an appointment with one of our estate planning lawyers to discuss the different ways to include charitable giving in your own Estate Plan.

Planning in advance not only helps you reach your charitable goals, but it also helps maximize your tax savings. You can increase your tax savings now through ongoing donations. According to Fidelity, you can reduce the amount of your estate substantially if you give to charities each year.

While charitable giving benefits others in need, it’s important to remember it can benefit the donor as well. Charitable giving can positively impact your tax burden right now and over your lifetime, as well as after death.

Here are four ways you can start planning your Estate Giving now:

  1. Charitable Gift Annuity: You can donate one lump sum to a charity. You receive a fixed percentage each year from the annuity, and the rest is received from the charity after your death.
  2. Gift assets: The charity can sell the assets without paying capital gains tax. Examples of assets to donate include real estate, vehicles, stocks, and more.
  3. Leave a bequest in your will: Be sure to share the specific charity you’d like to support, the amount, and the purpose for the charity to use your donation. When doing this, it’s encouraged to contact the charity’s development office to be sure your request is something the charity is able to achieve.
  4. Creating a Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT): Benefit a charity and a family member. Your family member will receive annual payments from the CRT for a period of time; afterward, the remaining amount is distributed to a charity you choose.

Without your own plan, the State of Indiana will control how your assets are distributed after you pass away, and they are not interested in making sure your wishes are carried out. Applegate & Dillman uses a variety of advanced estate planning tools and strategies to help you accomplish a wide range of goals.

We encourage you to contact our office so one of our lawyers can walk you through the entire process, prepare the proper legal documents, and suggest different avenues you can take in planning your estate.