Planning for Charitable Giving

As The Parents Estate Planning Law Firm, PC gives back to Household Goods this season, we encourage our clients, partners, and readers support causes and organization in their own neighborhoods wich mean something special to them. If chartitable giving is already a part of your financial plan, now is also a great time, as the annual appeal letters begin to arrive, to reassess your approach to donating.

Most of us respond to some of the appeals which come through various avenues such as phone calls, campaigns at work, or mailed letters. Whatever the source of the appeal may be, however, most people are inconsistent givers and fret when finding when they’ve reached their giving limit and need a way to say no.

Charitable Giving: A Better Way

A solution to the dilemma when to give and when not to, is having a plan in advance. Knowing ahead of time how much you are willing to contribute to charities and those specific charities to which you will give makes it easier to deal with those groups not on your “list”. Hard-charging solicitors are more likely to back off when informed that you have a charitable giving plan to which you strictly adhere. If it breaks your heart to have to say “no” because you’ve reached your giving limit, setting up a discretionary line item -with a pre-determined maximum- in your plan may be a good way for you to support a group that’s new to you, or an unexpected request from a friend or loved one during the year.

To begin creating your own personal charitable giving plan, first look at your past giving patterns and amounts. Did you take an itemized deduction? If yes, you can start with that amount and decide whether it is too high or too low. Many people do not keep track of all they have given, and some may even overstate the amount. Whatever  the case, decide on an amount you want to give and then make a list of the organizations to which you will donate. 

Once you identify the recipients, you can decide how and when you want to make your contributions. If cash flow is an issue, you might set up a schedule for contributions. Consultation with the charity may provide some knowledge of what  works best for that organization. 

How to Plan Your Giving with an Even More Coordinated Approach 

If you want to provide a one-time outlay that gets your charitable funds set aside, a donor-advised fund can be established through a financial services firm. This way, a contribution to the fund can be made and then disbursed at later dates. The tax deduction is based on the contribution to the fund rather than to individual organizations. This also allows other family members to contribute if they would like to simplify their charitable gift-giving, too. 

A plan for charitable giving that specifies an amount and the recipients, in advance, takes away the angst of considering numerous solicitations that come randomly throughout the year. Knowing you have an action plan in place makes it that much easier to either ignore solicitations or provide a standard response.

As a Personal Family Lawyer®, David can further advise you on all your options and make things as easy as possible for your family during a Family Wealth Planning Session. If you would like to have a talk about estate planning for your family, call our office today to schedule a time for you to sit down and talk.

o your family’s health, wealth and happiness!

David Feakes

 

 

 

David Feakes

P.S. Want to get started on the most important planning you’ll ever do for your family? Give our office a call at (978) 263-6900 to get started. You’ll be so glad you did.

David Feakes is the owner of The Parents Estate Planning Law Firm, PC – a law firm for families in the Acton, Massachusetts area. David helps parents protect the people they love the most. If you would like to receive David’s exclusive, free report, “Six Major Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing An Estate Planning Attorney,” you can get it right here.

The following two tabs change content below.

The Parents Estate Planning Law Firm, PC

At The Parents Estate Planning Law Firm, we answer your questions at your convenience; we stay in frequent communication; and we meet to discuss changes in life circumstances and in the law to ensure that your assets are protected.

Latest posts by The Parents Estate Planning Law Firm, PC (see all)

%d bloggers like this: