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Two Charitable Ideas

By Dian Vujovich

A couple of ideas here to consider when pondering charitable giving.

Seems the once popular charitable lead trusts are back in vogue again and one could be a fit for you and your family.

Direct from a recent story in WealthManagerweb.com comes the following: “A lead trust allows a donor to put assets into trust and promises to make gifts from the trust to charity for a number of years. At the end of the trust term, the donor’s children receive the remaining principal. The longer the trust and the higher the percentage given to charity, the lower the gift tax due on the transfer to the children.

“Families can use these trusts to make large gifts to their children while they are still young. A trust set up on a child’s fifth birthday could be designed to transfer $1m or more on the child’s 25th birthday – free of tax. Many people find this far more useful than transferring money at death…”

The best part is, apparently these charitable lead trusts are more attractive when interest rates are low. Read the full story at http://tinyurl.com/yjwunv4 .

And then there is this one about our favorite Uncle, Sam.

If the size of America’s debt load has you concerned, why not help to pay it off via a tax-deductible contribution to the, you guessed it, U.S. government. They’d be happy to accept it. Doubt you’ll get an official Thank You note for the kind gesture but hey, normal everyday people are forgetting send them.

According to a CNNMoney.com story, (http://tinyurl.com/ylfuk8d), $3.1 million was collected in donations in fiscal year 2009. Not bad. (America’s fiscal year begins on Oct. 1 and ends Sept. 30). And all because of a law enacted back in 1961. Since then, over $65 million has been donated.

Typically gifts given are under $100 but in 1992 one generous soul made a gift of $3.5 million and then there was the largest gift ever given—-it was in 1994 in the amount of $12 million. In 1994 Americans must have been feeling particularly generous because they donated nearly $21 million. BTW, that year the total federal debt tallied around $4.5 trillion. In 2009 it hit an all time hit of $12 trillion.

Perhaps it is time to give.

You can find the particulars about how to make your gift by going to page 91 of the IRS’s 2009 Instruction Booklet for Form 1040. If you decide to give, remember to make a copy of the check you send off and any other proof-of-giving record you can think of. Your gift, after all, will be tax-deductible.

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