Legacy of Giving: What I’ve learned as a Development Officer! (Or maybe a better way to say it is, “What it was like to realize all I didn’t know!”)

By Chuck Rodgers, VP Development, WTRC Foundation

If you were to ask me, “What is the most profound thing you’ve learned about giving, estate planning, taxes, etc. since you started with West Texas Rehab?” I’d look you right in the eye and say, “EVERYTHING!” That’s right, everything. But, maybe even more than that, I’ve learned that I’m not alone! MOST, or at least a whole lot, of those with whom I come in contact have never even heard of CRT’s, CGA’s, ILIT’s, CLT’s, CRUT’s, CRAT’s…..(You get the idea), much less know the powerful things these investment tools can do for them. Why does that matter? Because each one of those acronyms, and so many others, represent instruments or vehicles that, with professional guidance, can help you and me do some of the most amazing things – life impacting things – that will leave a legacy to our families and to our community! We can show and teach our kids about the wonderful world of philanthropy! Philanthropy is defined in its simplest form as the love for humanity. Don’t you love that?! We don’t’ want to leave our family a lifestyle of selfishness and greed; what we want to leave them is a…

Legacy of Giving!

The great news is, we can do that and still care for them at whatever level we personally deem best for the loved ones we will one day leave behind.

So, what are the reasons that make these vehicles so important? Well, I’ll tell you flat out:

  1. You and I have certain things, monies, investments that we want to leave to our families, and NOT to the IRS;

  1. You and I want to leave our resources to our children without them having to pay high taxes on what they receive (i.e. when leaving appreciated assets, the long-term capital gains tax will be 0%, 15% or 20%)

If you leave your heirs those assets, they will pay this tax to the IRS. No thank you!!!

  1. Maybe we (or a family member) could use a guaranteed flow of income for us and our spouse, but our money is tied up in non-income producing assets. Well, there are instruments like CRT’s (Charitable Remainder Trusts) and CGA’s (Charitable Gift Annuities), to name just a couple, which can do exactly that! Not all charities offer CGA’s. But, those that do guarantee to pay you an income stream for the rest of two lives, with what’s left going to the charity. Let’s say you and your spouse are 70 and 71 years old. You may be eligible for a 5% income stream for both of your lives!1 (You will also receive a tax deduction, but not dollar for dollar since part of the  payment is considered ordinary income, while the other part counts as tax-free return of principal.)

  2. Even with the new standard deduction being so high ($12,000 single filer; $24,000 joint filers), there are still positive income tax implications when these types of estate planning tools are used.2

If you’d like to visit about your legacy of giving, or other ways to assist your estate planning efforts, we would love to be a listening ear! You can call any of us in the West Texas Rehab Center Foundation. We look forward to hearing from you!

1 CGA rates are established by the ACGA – American Council on Gift Annuities – and most charities set their rates based on the ACGA.

2 Always consult your tax and/or estate planning professional about CRT’s and other trust and estate planning decisions.