Everyone, no matter your current financial status, should have a Last Will and Testament. A Last Will and Testament not only directs who is in charge of your estate (taking care of any assets, distributing your personal items, paying financial expenses), but also names a Guardian for any minor children and a Trustee who would manage the funds for the children’s care. You may choose to work with your own attorney to include a gift of a portion of your estate, or one of our Certified Trust Officers would be glad to meet with you and have our attorney prepare documents for you. Your gift to the Texas Conference Association of Seventh-day Adventists can be given as an unrestricted gift, or you may specify what ministry, church, and/or school, it is to be used for.
Unlike a Will, a Trust is a legal device that is used to avoid probate, retain privacy, and, in some cases, avoid or delay taxes. It’s estimated that only about 20% of Americans have Family Trusts. So what does a Trust do, and how do you know whether a Trust could benefit you?
You can make the Texas Conference Association of Seventh-day Adventists a beneficiary (or contingent beneficiary) of a retirement, investment, bank account, CD, or life insurance policy. Perhaps when you were younger you purchased life insurance that would not only cover your final expenses, but also the balance of your mortgage & other debts, as well as continuing to provide for your spouse and minor children if you were no longer able to do so. However, your children are now grown and on their own, your debts paid (or mostly paid), and your assets are such that your spouse wouldn’t need the proceeds, or all of the proceeds, from your insurance. You might consider making a gift of the policy, or a portion of the policy.
The Charitable IRA Rollover allows individuals age 70-1/2 and older to make direct transfers of up to $100,000 per year (and up to $200,000 per year for married couples) from individual retirement accounts to qualified charities without having to count the transfers as income for federal tax purposes. Since no tax is incurred on the withdrawal, gifts do not qualify for an income tax charitable deduction, but are eligible to be counted toward an individual’s minimum required distribution. There are strict rules that must be followed, so be sure to talk to your plan administrator about what you would like to do before you make any withdrawals.
A Charitable Gift Annuity will pay you fixed payments for the rest of your life, in exchange for your gift of cash or appreciated property. Your payments are determined by a rate that is based on your age at the time of your gift. You may also choose to defer your payments to a later date (perhaps when you reach retirement age) and receive higher payments.
You sell your property to the Texas Conference Association of Seventh-day Adventists for a ‘bargain’ price – well below the fair market value. You receive cash and you can take a charitable deduction that is equal to the difference between the market value and the purchase price.
In Texas the law has provided a way for you to make a gift of your home property while still retaining a life estate in the property as well as the right to sell the property and to retain all income from the property for as long as you live. This is done through an Enhanced Life Estate Deed. The Enhanced Life Estate Deed also gives you the added benefit of being protected from Medicaid Recovery. Should you ever need to apply for Medicaid to pay for long term care/assisted living, the State of Texas will not be able to recover the funds that were paid for your care from the sale of your property.
Marketable real estate that has appreciated in value, and is no longer needed, can be an excellent gift that will allow you to avoid paying capital gains tax on the sale of the real estate and to receive a charitable income tax deduction based on the value of the gift. You can donate all or a part of the property.