It is probably safe to assume that all of us have at one time or another been touched by, and wanted to contribute to, a good cause. And it is probably safe to assume that all of us have wished we could do more for that something that touched our heart. What if I told you that it is possible to do more and it may not cost you anything?
This year we have had the honor of watching this actually happen. Twice. And in a big way. Two different families have the opportunity to leave a seven figure legacy to those somethings that touched their hearts. And they won’t have to leave a dime less to their children or grandchildren.
How did they do it?
We call this one of our “Uncle Sam or ???” strategies.
Taxes actually are voluntary to some extent. And these completely separate situations happen to be a prime example of that. Each of these families had the option to give a gift to Uncle Sam or give a gift to their favorite non-profits (charities). Furthermore, each of these families is leaving a legacy behind that is much more than money. The impact of these gifts will be there for many generations to come.
So where do you start?
Planning. Find a painting or drawing in the room you are in. Look at all the detail. That same amount of detail is imbedded in your life. Some of those same details are the doors of opportunity you can open to create your charitable legacy. There is no one size fits all.
Let’s take the example of the two families we spoke about earlier. One of these families’ plans involved Social Security, required minimum distributions from an IRA, Roth IRA conversions, income taxes and insurance. The other family’s plans involved a business, equipment, livestock, trust planning, income planning, and estate and income taxes. The only common denominator was their desire to make a change in the world.
The key is starting the conversation. As we enter the holiday season, many of us reflect on those causes that have touched our hearts. When the thought enters your mind that you wish you could do more, call us. The holidays are busy and this type of planning can take a bit to put into motion, but that call puts you one step ahead of your New Year’s Resolution list for 2016.
Oh…and one last very important note: many of these charitable opportunities are missed because it is too late. We often get a call after someone sells their business or real estate, had a big income year, retires, etc. That call is not always, but often is too late to help these families accomplish all of their goals. On the other hand, we have never seen anyone start planning too early.
The strategies discussed may not work for everyone. Please call the office to get specific information.