“Life’s most persistent question is, what are you doing for others?” -Martin Luther King, Jr.
“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” -Winston Churchill

Charitable Planning:

Ball Morse Lowe will help you create a lasting legacy and make a positive impact in your community through charitable giving. In addition to the philanthropic reasons for giving, including charitable planning as part of your estate plan can have estate tax and income tax benefits.

Charitable Planning options:

Specific Bequests: Include a provision in your estate plan for a specific gift of property or assets to a charity or charities of your choice. Specific distributions to charity included in your estate plan will mean a reduction in your taxable estate. A formula can be used in your trust to eliminate your estate tax through charitable distribution(s).

Charitable Remainder Trust: A Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT) is another way to reduce your estate tax and receive an income tax deduction. Money or property is donated to charity or your private foundation, but you or your beneficiaries receive the income for life or for a certain number of years. The charity or private foundation receives the principal upon the expiration of the time period.

Charitable Lead Trust: A Charitable Lead Trust (CLT) is a way to eliminate or reduce your estate tax and/or provide an immediate income tax deduction. A CLT can be created during your lifetime and provide an immediate income tax deduction or a CLT can be created upon your death to reduce your estate tax liability. The CLT makes annual distributions to charity, your donor advised fund or private foundation and at the end of the term of the CLT, the assets will be distributed to you or your beneficiaries. The term of the CLT created upon your death can be determined by a computation that will satisfy Internal Revenue Service regulations and that can result in eliminating your federal estate tax.

Private Foundation: A private foundation provides a way for the donor to maintain control over investment decisions and distributions to charities. A private foundation can continue on after your death to create a lasting family legacy.

Donor Advised Fund: This is a type of account is established within a public charity that allows the donor to make recommendations on investment decisions and distributions to charities. A donor advised fund can be the recipient of your CRT or CLT.

Special Needs Trusts:

A Special Needs Trust (SNT), also referred to as a Supplemental Needs Trust, is a trust created for an individual who receives or who may receive state or federal benefits. The trust is designed to provide for the individual’s “supplemental needs” while maintaining the individual’s eligibility for benefits provided by the government.

Types of Special Needs Trusts:

Third Party: A parent or other third party creates and funds a trust for the individual receiving government benefits. The trust can be funded now or through the parent or third party’s estate plan. 

First Party: This type of SNT is also called a “(d)(4)(A) Trust” or “Medicaid Pay-Back Trust” and is funded  with the beneficiary’s own assets (i.e. personal injury settlement). Upon the death of the beneficiary, the  remaining assets must be paid back to the state up to the amount of medical assistance paid by the state 

Stand-by Special Needs Trust provisions: Because we do not ever know what the future may hold for our family or beneficiaries, stand-by Special Needs Trust provisions are important to include in your revocable trust. With these provisions included in your revocable trust, your Trustee can create a Special Needs Trust for a beneficiary if necessary at the time of your death.

Contact Us For A Consultation

Charitable Planning and Special Needs Trusts are a more complex area of estate and tax planning. Our attorneys will work closely with your tax and financial advisors to make the most beneficial recommendations to you. We invite you to schedule a initial consultation with one of our attorneys. Simply call Ball Morse Lowe, PLLC, at 405-701-5355 or contact our office by email.


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