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Charitable Trusts

When you think of charities you probably think of helping the less fortunate members of our society, whether it is the ill, the poor, the disabled, the abandoned, or the victims of a disaster. Of course there are religious charities, charities to aid animals, charities to preserve the environment, and any number of other not for profit organizations, including family foundations, which could be your own family foundation.

However, there is another aspect of charities that does not typically come to mind. That is – charities can help wealthy individuals reduce their taxes and plan for retirement. Since 1969 there have been tax law provisions that, properly used, can divert money that would otherwise go to the IRS, to charities. At the same time those provisions can result in producing an increased income stream for the trust maker and the trust maker’s family while reducing estate taxes, creating an instant income tax deduction, and eliminating capital gain taxes.

Charitable trusts can be divided into two main categories – charitable remainder trusts, (CRT), and charitable lead trusts (CLT). The two types of trusts operate in completely different ways, but each has its advantages. A CRT can often be used as a part of an individual’s retirement planning, to provide extra income at retirement.

Unlike many retirement plans such as IRA’s and 401(k)’s, there are no limits as to the amount of money that can be contributed, and they can be funded at a time when the trust maker has a high income and therefore a need for current tax deductions. If the CRT is funded with particular types of assets, such as zero coupon bonds, non-dividend paying growth stocks, or certain types of annuities, the distributions to the trust maker can be timed to coincide with the need for such distributions to assist with retirement expenses.

The attorneys of the Vose Law Firm can assist you in determining whether a charitable trust is appropriate for your particular needs and desires. If you think you may be interested in establishing your own charitable trust, please call us at 407-645-3735 or 1-866-789-VOSE.