There are many ways to make charitable donations, and some have greater tax benefits than others. If you would like to make a bequest to the Lupus Research Institute, and you are the owner of a retirement plan, you can minimize taxes due on the plan assets at death by naming the LRI as the beneficiary of the plan rather than making a cash bequest to the charity.
Because retirement plans used for charitable purposes are completely deductible from the estate and are not subject to income taxes, you will avoid both the federal and state estate tax on the plan assets and any income taxes on the deferred income in the plan.
Gifting assets as part of your charitable "gift of a lifetime," will permit you to allocate other assets to your family members that will not be subject to possibly onerous income tax rates, thereby increasing the amount of money available to heirs.
After you have discussed your estate plans with your advisors and family members, the procedure for making a gift of your retirement plan is simple. Request a beneficiary change form from your plan administrator, and indicate the amount or percentage of assets you wish to use for charitable purposes. You are at liberty to change your beneficiary at any time in the future.
If you are interested in hearing more about gift-planning options, please contact us at 212-812-9881.