The Law Offices of Joseph B. Rosenberg

Charitable Giving

Charitable Bequests

Provisions can be included in Wills and Trusts by which one or more charities are designated as beneficiaries. The bequests can be mandatory upon the death of the donor or can be contingent upon an individual beneficiary predeceasing the donor. The bequests to the charities can be general or limited to specific projects.

Life Insurance

The donor can own an insurance policy that designates a charity as a beneficiary or the charity can own a policy insuring the life of the donor. If the charity owns the policy, the annual premiums will be paid from donations made by the donor to the charity.

Retirement Plans

Proceeds from a retirement plan may be subject to both estate tax and income tax, resulting in the donor’s heirs inheriting a greatly reduced portion of the plan. Any portion of the retirement plan that is paid to a charity will pass free of both estate and income taxes.

Charitable Remainder Trusts

Charitable Remainder Trusts provide for a periodic payment to be made to a non-charitable beneficiary for a period of time, after which the remaining principal of the trust will be paid over to one or more charities. The donor receives a charitable deduction at the formation of the trust.

Charitable Lead Trusts

Charitable Lead Trusts provide for a periodic payment to be made to a charitable beneficiary for a period of time, after which the remaining principal of the trust will be paid over to one or more non-charitable charities. The donor receives a charitable deduction at the formation of the trust or each year as the payments are made to the charities, depending upon the manner in which the trust is drafted.

Charitable Gift Annuity

A charitable gift annuity is created by an irrevocable contract between the donor and the charity, in which the donor transfers money or property to the charity in return for the charity's promise to pay the beneficiary a fixed and guaranteed annuity for life. New York State requires a charity writing gift annuities to maintain segregated minimum balances and register with the New York State Commissioner of Insurance. Alternatively, the charity can purchase an annuity contract through an insurance company. Only a portion of the annuity payment to the donor is taxable. Each year the charity is required to inform the donor of the taxable amount.


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