Massachusetts Estate Planning & Asset Protection Blog


Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Sun, Nov 10, 2019


As a community-based legal practice, the Estate Planning & Asset Protection Law Center of Dennis Sullivan & Associates recognizes the benefits our community receives, from the abundance of nonprofit organizations providing employment, services to programs throughout our region. For many this is our community of choice. The varied cultural organizations, high quality medical facilities, and public and private colleges/universities provide meaningful opportunities and make our lives more productive. It doesn’t matter if you live in Metro West, Greater Boston, Worcester, Central Massachusetts, Cape Cod, or New England in general, when these public benefit organizations, flourish, our families, and communities do as well.

To perform at maximum efficiency and deliver the most benefit, non-profit entities need funds over and above the fees collected and government support received. As a result, these organizations need our financial support to continue to provide quality services. We urge you to consider sharing some of your time, talent and yes, resources with these organizations both locally and globally. We are fortunate to be living in the greatest country in the world at a time of unprecedented economic success for many. There are those who are less fortunate, such as the homeless and the sick that need our help. At a time of so much we can be grateful for, there is much good we can do.

The federal tax code has long provided incentives for charitable giving via itemized tax deductions. It is exactly this private component of support, which keeps non-profit organizations moving forward. For those who do not itemize, or those who aren’t able to contribute financially, there remain ways you can also support non-profits. One is the time and talent factor; you can contribute your time and talent to organizations involved in areas of interest to you. You may also want to consider bunching your charitable deduction in one year with a charitable gift fund or donor advised fund.

Some changes to the federal and Massachusetts estate tax laws have dramatically decreased the amount of estate taxes payable, allowing you to keep more money. This is scheduled to change again in 2026, possibly 2021 depending on the results of the 2020 election, but for now, please think about sharing some of your time, talents, and social capital with non-profit organizations and causes that mean something to you, your family and this region.

You can do this as a gift from your estate as an endowment, in whole or in part, as an annual gift. As an example, a bequest of $20,000 to an organization’s permanent endowment, which earns a 5% return, provides about $1,000 per year forever. Using the Make-A-Wish Foundation as our model, a $150,000 gift during one’s lifetime, or from a will or trust upon death would support an annual gift to a deserving "Wish Kid" each and every year. Such experiences for the child and their family, according to physicians, have a definite positive effect towards a seriously ill child’s chances of living beyond expectations.

Options for what you would like to give from your estate can be determined after you have provided for loved ones, plus any other special designations. People have also named charitable organization beneficiaries of an IRA, a pension, or a life insurance policy. There are income, estate and gift tax state savings available here.

The variety of worthwhile organizations to support is vast. If you do not have a particular favorite or favorites, there are outstanding groups such as the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Make-A-Wish Foundation, the United Way, or the local Community Foundation. Here both the Boston Foundation and the Metro West Community Foundation, for example, work with a great array of non-profits. Would you like to help an important cause or leave a legacy to your community? If so please consider taking action to remember one or several worthy charities and/or non-profit organizations. Quite often, you’ll receive a benefit you didn’t expect: a sense of accomplishment that you are truly doing something which will make a lasting and positive impact in your region and community! This could have significant positive effects for you, your spouse, and your family's well being.

To discover more about taking part in this worthwhile endeavor, plan to attend a Free Discovery Workshop. Here in addition to opportunities to help others, you’ll also learn why 86% of all trust and estate plans are outdated and what you can do about it. Call 800-964-4295 (24/7) for upcoming dates, times and locations. The Estate Planning & Asset Protection Law Center of Dennis Sullivan & Associates has been helping people and their families in the community with FREE DISCOVERY Seminars over the past 17 years. Due to limited seating, seminars reservation are required.

Please visit or call now 800-964-4295 (24/7). Also while supplies last, seminars attendees receive one of our three books; Your American Legacy-Powerful

Strategies that Instill Lasting Values for Generations, or The Senior and Boomers Guide to Health Care Reform and Avoiding Nursing Home Poverty, or The Ten Biggest Estate and Asset Protection Planning Mistakes and How to Fix Them.

Act now!

Tags: Estate Planning, charitable remainder trust

How To Become a Tax-Savvy Philanthropist

Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Fri, May 27, 2011

The idea of giving to charity would seem to be a simple, but the simple methods aren’t always the best ones. Sometimes a bit of financial finesse can go a long way, helping both your charity of choice and your own finances. I refer to that as “doing well by doing good.”

If you want to be a tax-savvy philanthropist, consider using a time-honored strategy known as a “charitable remainder trust” (CRT).

A CRT allows you to give assets to charity in a tax-savvy manner that may even provide an income stream that helps both you and your charity. When the CRT is established, the assets you’ve chosen to donate are transferred to the trust. The charity you’ve chosen is the trustee, and manages the assets. They may pay you and/or your beneficiaries a portion of the income generated by the trust either for a certain number of years, or your entire life. At the end of the term, depending on the type of payout you’ve chosen, the charity receives the remainder of the principal in the trust.

This strategy works best when the underlying assets are highly appreciated, and by donating them to charity you can avoid a significant capital gains tax.

Of course, your family members may not be too happy to see those assets going to charity – so you may want to consider replacing their value for your heirs with life insurance.

You can learn more about charitable trusts by attending one of our free "Trust, Estate & Asset Protection" workshops.  Register online or call 800-964-4295.  While you're there, you might also want to read about Gifting Strategies for Estate Planning.

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Tags: Estate Planning, Charitable Giving, CRT, charitable remainder trust

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