Category: Charitable Lead Trust

What Type of Trust is best for You?

What Type of Trust is best for You?

You are beginning the estate planning process. Great! When discussing your situation with your estate planning attorney, you will hear about trusts. But what type of trust is best for you? Fortune’s recent article, “Understanding trusts: An important estate planning tool for everyday Americans,” gives a concise run-down of all of the various types of trusts.

AB Trust. Also called a credit shelter or bypass trust, this trust is used by married couples to get the most benefit from estate tax exemptions. An AB trust is two trusts. The easiest way to remember them is that the A trust is for the person “above ground,” and the B trust belongs to the person “below ground.” Assets up to the annual estate tax exemption are put in the B trust to avoid estate taxes and usually pass to the couple’s children (“bypassing” the spouse). The remaining assets are placed in the surviving spouse’s A trust. When the surviving spouse dies, assets in both trusts pass to the designated beneficiaries.

An AB trust may be best for highly affluent married couples with large estates wanting to max out their estate tax exemptions.

Charitable Trust. This trust can benefit three parties: you, the grantor, your beneficiaries, and a charitable cause. They come in two types—charitable remainder trusts and charitable lead trusts. They still have one thing in common: the benefiting charity must be a qualifying organization per Internal Revenue Service guidelines. A charitable remainder trust is a type of irrevocable trust that provides income for you or your beneficiaries during your lifetime. You typically will move highly-appreciated assets into the trust, which the trust then sells—avoiding capital gains taxes—to create the income stream. After your death, the remaining assets in the trust are distributed to one or more charitable causes. A charitable lead trust is an irrevocable trust that’s the opposite of a charitable remainder trust. It first benefits the charitable beneficiaries of your choice during your lifetime. When you die, the remaining assets are distributed to your beneficiaries. A charitable lead trust can be funded during your lifetime or when you die through instructions in your will. A charitable trust may be best for individuals with highly appreciated assets, like stocks, that can be used to help meet philanthropic goals during or after their lifetimes.

Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT). A GRAT is an irrevocable trust generally used by the wealthy to reduce tax implications for their beneficiaries. You transfer assets into the trust that are expected to appreciate over time and specify the term for which you’ll receive an annuity payment based on those assets. Once the GRAT’s term expires, the assets and any appreciation of those assets in the trust will pass to your beneficiaries with little to no estate tax burden. A GRAT may be best for wealthy individuals who want to help family members avoid paying estate taxes on their inheritance.

Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT). Putting life insurance into a trust is a strategy the wealthy use to cover several fronts. You fund an irrevocable trust using one or several life insurance policies. When you die, the payouts from those policies typically avoid estate taxes but can be used to pay for things like state estate taxes and funeral expenses. The funds in the trust can help avoid the need to liquidate assets to meet these financial needs. An ILIT may be best for people who expect to pay state estate taxes and want to protect life insurance policies from creditors or divorce.

Special Needs Trust. This trust can help provide long-term care for a loved one with physical or mental disabilities who’s under age 65. The big benefit of special needs trusts is that assets held in them don’t affect their eligibility for Social Security and Medicaid benefits. There are three types of special needs trusts. Therefore, it is important to create one with an attorney specializing in special needs trusts. This trust may be best for those with mentally or physically disabled family members.

Figuring out what type of trust is best for you really comes down to the type of assets you have, and how you want to manage and pass down those assets when you pass. If you would like to read more about the different types of trusts, please visit our previous posts. 

Reference:  Fortune (June 9, 2023) “Understanding trusts: An important estate planning tool for everyday Americans”

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The Estate of The Union Season 2|Episode 8 is out now!

The Estate of The Union Season 2|Episode 8 is out now!

Homelessness is not going away. How we manage it can be frustrating and sometimes seems futile.  It’s not. In Homeless But Not Hopeless, Brad and Alan Graham, the founder and CEO of Mobile Loaves and Fishes have a lively conversation on what he, Mobile Loaves and Fishes, and their Community First! Village program are doing to improve the lives of the homeless, and improve our city too.

If you’ve ever wondered about what to do when approached by a homeless person at an intersection, Alan has an answer for that too!

If you would like to learn more about how to volunteer or donate to Mobile Loaves and Fishes or Community First! Village, please visit mlf.org

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In each episode of The Estate of The Union podcast, host and lawyer Brad Wiewel will give valuable insights into the confusing world of estate planning, making an often daunting subject easier to understand. It is Estate Planning Made Simple! The Estate of The Union Season 2|Episode 8 is out now! The episode can be found on Spotify, Apple podcasts, or anywhere you get your podcasts. If you would prefer to watch the video version, please visit our YouTube page. Please click on the links below to listen to or watch the new installment of The Estate of The Union podcast. We hope you enjoy it.

The Estate of The Union Season 2|Episode 4 – How To Give Yourself a Charitable Gift is out now!

 

Texas Trust Law focuses its practice exclusively in the area of wills, probate, estate planning, asset protection, and special needs planning. Brad Wiewel is Board Certified in Estate Planning and Probate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. We provide estate planning services, asset protection planning, business planning, and retirement exit strategies.

www.texastrustlaw.com/read-our-books

The Estate of The Union Season 3|Episode 5

The Estate of The Union Season 2|Episode 4 is out now!

The Estate of The Union Season 2|Episode 4 – How To Give Yourself a Charitable Gift is out now!

This is the time of the year when people feel most inclined to provide donations to organizations and charities that mean something to them. The saying goes that “Charity Begins at Home”, but sometimes you can give money to charity and bring it back home too – No Kidding!

In this episode, Brad Wiewel discusses charitable donations and how you can use “give and get” techniques to turn those donations into income and tax deductions for yourself. Just in time for the holiday season. You do not want to miss this one! These are complex estate and tax matters, requiring the guidance of an experienced estate planning attorney for optimal results. If you would like to learn more about charitable giving in your estate planning, please visit our previous posts. 

In each episode of The Estate of The Union podcast, host and lawyer Brad Wiewel will give valuable insights into the confusing world of estate planning, making an often daunting subject easier to understand. It is Estate Planning Made Simple! The Estate of The Union Season 2|Episode 4  – How To Give Yourself a Charitable Gift can be found on Spotify, Apple podcasts, or anywhere you get your podcasts. If you would prefer to watch the video version, please visit our YouTube page. Please click on the link below to listen to the new installment of The Estate of The Union podcast. We hope you enjoy it.

The Estate of The Union Season 2|Episode 4 – How To Give Yourself a Charitable Gift is out now!

 

Texas Trust Law focuses its practice exclusively in the area of wills, probate, estate planning, asset protection, and special needs planning. Brad Wiewel is Board Certified in Estate Planning and Probate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. We provide estate planning services, asset protection planning, business planning, and retirement exit strategies.

www.texastrustlaw.com/read-our-books

Strategies to Reduce Taxes

Strategies to Reduce Taxes

With numerous bills still being considered by Congress, people are increasingly aware of the need to explore options for tax planning, charitable giving, estate planning and inheritances. Tax sensitive strategies for the near future are on everyone’s mind right now, according to the article “Inheritance, estate planning and charitable giving: 4 strategies to reduce taxes now” from Market Watch. These are the strategies to reduce taxes that you should be aware of.

Offsetting capital gains. Capital gains are the profits made from selling an asset which has appreciated in value since it was first acquired. These gains are taxed, although the tax rates on capital gains are lower than ordinary income taxes if the asset is owned for more than a year. Losses on assets reduce tax liability. This is why investors “harvest” their tax losses, to offset gains. The goal is to sell the depreciated asset and at the same time, to sell an appreciated asset.

Consider Roth IRA conversions. People used to assume they would be in a lower tax bracket upon retirement, providing an advantage for taking money from a traditional IRA or other retirement accounts. Income taxes are due on the withdrawals for traditional IRAs. However, if you retire and receive Social Security, pension income, dividends and interest payments, you may find yourself in the enviable position of having a similar income to when you were working. Good for the income, bad for the tax bite.

Converting an IRA into a Roth IRA is increasingly popular for people in this situation. Taxes must be paid, but they are paid when the funds are moved into a Roth IRA. Once in the Roth IRA account, the converted funds grow tax free and there are no further taxes on withdrawals after the IRA has been open for five years. You must be at least 59½ to do the conversion, and you do not have to do it all at once. However, in many cases, this makes the most sense.

Charitable giving has always been a good tax strategy. In the past, people would simply write a check to the organization they wished to support. Today, there are many different ways to support nonprofits, allowing for better tax advantages.

One of the most popular ways to give today is a DAF—Donor Advised Fund. These are third-party funds created for supporting charity. They work in a few different ways. Let’s say you have sold a business or inherited money and have a significant tax bill coming. By contributing funds to a DAF, you will get a tax break when you put the funds into a DAF. The DAF can hold the funds—they do not have to be contributed to charity, but as long as they are in the DAF account, you receive the tax benefit.

Another way to give to charity is through your IRA’s Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) by giving the minimum amount you are required to take from your IRA every year to the charity. Otherwise, your RMD is taxable as income. If you make a charitable donation using the RMD, you get the tax deduction, and the nonprofit gets a donation.

Giving while living is growing in popularity, as parents and grandparents can have pleasure of watching loved ones benefit from the impact of a gift. A person can give up to $16,000 to any other person every year, with no taxes due on the gift. The money is then out of the estate and the recipient receives the full amount of the gift.

All of these strategies to reduce taxes should be reviewed with your estate planning attorney with an eye to your overall estate plan, to ensure they work seamlessly to achieve your overall goals. If you would like to learn more about tax planning, please visit our previous posts. 

Reference: Market Watch (Feb. 18, 2022) “Inheritance, estate planning and charitable giving: 4 strategies to reduce taxes now”

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Charitable Trusts a Rewarding way to make an Impact

Charitable Trusts a Rewarding way to make an Impact

Charitable trusts can be a critical component of your estate plan and a rewarding way to make an impact for a cause you care deeply about. Charitable trusts can be created to provide a reliable income stream to you and your beneficiaries for a set period of time, says Bankrate’s recent article entitled “What is a charitable trust?”

There are a few kinds of charitable trusts to consider based on your situation and what you may be looking to accomplish.

Charitable lead trust. This is an irrevocable trust that is created to distribute an income stream to a designated charity or nonprofit organization for a set number of years. It can be established with a gift of cash or securities made to the trust. Depending on the structure, the donor can benefit from a stream of income during the life of the trust, deductions for gift and estate taxes, as well as current year income tax deductions when the assets are donated to the trust.

If the charitable lead trust is funded with a donation of cash, the donor can claim a deduction of up to 60% of their adjusted gross income (AGI), and any unused deductions can generally be carried over into subsequent tax years. The deduction limit for appreciated securities or other assets is limited to no more than 30% of AGI in the year of the donation.

At the expiration of the charitable lead trust, the assets that remain in the trust revert back to the donor, their heirs, or designated beneficiaries—not the charity.

Charitable remainder trust. This trust is different from a charitable lead trust. It’s an irrevocable trust that’s funded with cash or securities. A CRT gives the donor or other beneficiaries an income stream with the remaining assets in the trust reverting to the charity upon death or the expiration of the trust period. There are two types of CRTs:

  1. A charitable remainder annuity trust or CRAT distributes a fixed amount as an annuity each year, and there are no additional contributions can be made to a CRAT.
  2. A charitable remainder unitrust or CRUT distributes a fixed percentage of the value of the trust, which is recalculated every year. Additional contributions can be made to a CRUT.

Here are the steps when using a CRT:

  1. Make a partially tax-deductible donation of cash, stocks, ETFs, mutual funds or non-publicly traded assets, such as real estate, to the trust. The amount of the tax deduction is a function of the type of CRT, the term of the trust, the projected annual payments (usually stated as a percentage) and the IRS interest rates that determine the projected growth in the asset that’s in effect at the time.
  2. Receive an income stream for you or your beneficiaries based on how the trust is created. The minimum percentage is 5% based on current IRS rules. Payments can be made monthly, quarterly or annually.
  3. After a designated time or after the death of the last remaining income beneficiary, the remaining assets in the CRT revert to the designated charity or charities.

There are a number of benefits of a charitable trust that make them attractive for estate planning and other purposes. It’s a tax-efficient way to donate to the charities or nonprofit organizations of your choosing. The charitable trust provides benefits to the charity and the donor. The trust also provides upfront income tax benefits to the donor, when the contribution to the trust is made.

Donating highly appreciated assets, such as stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds, to the charitable trust can help avoid paying capital gains taxes that would be due if these assets were sold outright.  Donations to a charitable trust can also help to reduce the value of your estate and reduce estate taxes on larger estates.

However, charitable trusts do have some disadvantages. First, they’re irrevocable, so you can’t undo the trust if your situation changes, and you were to need the money or assets donated to the trust. When you establish and fund the trust, the money’s no longer under your control and the trust can’t be revoked.

Charitable trusts may be a good option if you have a desire a rewarding way to make an impact with some of your assets. Talk with an experienced estate planning attorney about your specific situation. If you would like to learn more about charitable planning, please visit our previous posts. 

Reference: Bankrate (Dec. 14, 2021) “What is a charitable trust?”

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The Estate of The Union Episode 12 is out now!

The Estate of The Union Episode 12 is out now!

This is the traditional time for giving. Giving to a cause and giving of ourselves.

The newest episode of The Estate of The Union focuses on the topic of charitable giving. Brad chats with Stacey Wedding, an expert on charitable giving, about how it can play a role in your planning strategy and help the people and organizations that have meaning in your life. They discuss both the How and the Why of giving – and Stacy will share tips on becoming a smarter giver too!

Laws concerning charitable giving can change, so be sure your gifting strategies are still appropriate for your estate. Charitable remainder trusts (CRTs) and Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) are options for people who are already charitably inclined to reduce estate taxes. Charitable Remainder Trust can reduce taxes for people who would be making gifts to support meaningful causes. DAFs can be created and funded by individuals or a family and receive a deduction that very same year.

In each episode of The Estate of The Union podcast, host and lawyer Brad Wiewel will give valuable insights into the confusing world of estate planning, making an often daunting subject easier to understand.

It is Estate Planning Made Simple!

To learn more about Stacey Wedding and the Stacey Wedding Group, please visit her website:

 

www.staceywedding.com

 

The Estate of The Union episode 12-Giving Yourself Away can be found on Spotify, Apple podcasts, or anywhere you get your podcasts. Please click on the link below to listen to the new installment of The Estate of The Union podcast. You can also view this podcast on our YouTube page. The Estate of The Union Episode 12 out now. We hope you enjoy it.

Estate of The Union Episode 11-Millennials’ Mysteries Uncovered!

 

Texas Trust Law/Texas Trust Law focuses its practice exclusively in the area of wills, probate, estate planning, asset protection, and special needs planning. Brad Wiewel is Board Certified in Estate Planning and Probate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. We provide estate planning services, asset protection planning, business planning, and retirement exit strategies.

benefits of a charitable lead trust

Benefits of a Charitable Lead Trust

The benefits of a charitable lead trust can be significant. A charitable lead trust is usually implemented after other basics are done, such as your will, powers of attorney and health care directive, says Tri City Business News’ recent article entitled “Charitable lead trusts do good while reducing estate taxes.”

A charitable lead trust is a separate, standalone trust.

Let’s say there’s a married couple with some extra money who want to benefit a charity. The couple has an attorney draft a Charitable Lead Trust (CLT). The terms of the trust say that, for the lifetime of the couple (or the surviving spouse), the CLT will annually pay 5% of the trust to a qualified charity. At the death of the surviving spouse, the money left in the trust will go to the couple’s children. This is called a “split-interest” gift, where a portion of the gift to the trust goes to charity and a portion will ultimately go to the children.

The current interest rate is used to actuarially set the amount of the gift from the CLT going to the children, which the parents will use to file a gift tax return.

With a few exceptions, there’s no tax assessed on a gift like that. It’s just required by law to report gifts that size to the IRS.

In a low interest rate environment, the calculated (the actuarially determined) amount going to the children will appear to be lower. However, the actual amount could be much higher, based on the performance of the assets in the trust.

For the calculation, because the amount going to the children appears lower, the calculated amount going to the charity must be higher.

Neither the parents nor the children get anything from the trust during the parents’ lifetime. In that way, it’s like a will where nothing goes to the children until the deaths of the parents. What makes a charitable lead trust attractive is the added ability to give to charity and engage in potential wealth transfer tax mitigation.

In addition, a charitable lead trust has another benefit: it potentially provides a consistent and reliable stream of income to your favorite charity for years to come. As such, in addition to acting as a legally sanctioned wealth transfer technique, it provides a wonderful benefit to worthy organizations.

If you would like to learn more about charitable lead trusts, or other types of trusts, please visit our previous posts.

Reference: Tri City Business News (Aug. 2021) “Charitable lead trusts do good while reducing estate taxes”

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Information in our blogs is very general in nature and should not be acted upon without first consulting with an attorney. Please feel free to contact Texas Trust Law to schedule a complimentary consultation.
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