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Charitable Gifts That Keep Giving

  • By: Christopher Benson
  • Published: November 29, 2013

Around the holidays, most people make a point to give to their favorite charity. Either because it’s the holidays, or because it’s only a few days until the end of the year, when you are cut off from getting an immediate tax benefit from your donations.

But when there is a cause especially dear to you, or you would like to give more than you’ve ever had to give at one time, there are some options that allow you to be generous beyond your means.

A Charitable Gift Annuity (GCA) is when you give a charity a lump-sum gift, and in return, they agree to pay an annuity over the course of your lifetime. In exchange for this annuity, they get to keep the gift after your passing to realize a net gain.

CGAs are extremely flexible, and you can usually set up the terms to benefit both parties. You can decide what to donate, who the annuitants are, and how often payments are made. You can also terminate the payments at any time.

Another option is remainder interest. This is when you donate a piece of real estate to a charity or organization, but retain a life interest in it. This means that although you have donated the property already, you are allowed to live in, use, or enjoy the property any way you see fit. And once you pass, the charity bypasses the time and expense of having to obtain the property in probate. You can also accelerate when the charity can take control of it if you end up wanting to give up your interest sooner.

Over the past 21 years, the Law Offices of Christopher A. Benson has helped more than 800 clients prepare and utilize simple and effective planning techniques to protect them and their families in order to avoid probate, save estate taxes, save money and save added emotional burden that comes from long term illness and/or death of a family member. Give us a call to schedule a free consultation to find out how we can help you and your family.

Christopher Benson

About the Author Chris served on the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity
Seattle/S. King County for 10 years and served as Vice President
of the organization during part of that time. Read More