The typical layman has no reason to understand all the estate planning vehicles available to achieve your goals. This is exactly why it is so very important to engage the services of an estate planning attorney when you get serious about your legacy. The best way to arrange and ultimately transfer assets to your family members is going to vary depending on the specific nature of your assets and exactly what you would like to achieve with your inheritance plan.
Experienced estate planning attorneys have a thorough understanding of the tools that are available and exactly how, when, and why to use them. Because of this any investment that you make in the creation of your estate plan is always going to provide you and your family with a great deal of value in the long run.
One of these tools that is quite elegant in the way that it can achieve multiple objectives at the same time is the donor advised fund. You place assets into the fund and then instruct the donor advised fund about the charitable organizations you wish to have receive grants from the fund. In this manner you can support multiple different charities through a single act of giving, and this streamlines the administrative process considerably. You also have the option of working with the fund to grow your contributions so that your legacy of giving can last even after you have passed away.
Aside from providing a vehicle for realizing your philanthropic intentions, donor advised funds can also provide tax advantages. You get a charitable donation for the initial contribution into the fund. In addition, donating assets will reduce the overall value of your estate for estate tax purposes. Finally, any appreciated securities that you donated into the fund will not be subject to capital gains tax, so your charities of choice will be able to utilize the full value of your contribution, monies that would have otherwise been taxed away.
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