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Advantages of planned giving in an estate plan

Planned giving is an approach to estate planning that allows people to start making charitable gifts while they are still alive. Ohio individuals, their families and their communities may all benefit from planned giving over a long period of time.

Planned giving eliminates the guesswork for loved ones. Beneficiaries know what to expect in the estate plan and the reasoning behind it. They do not have to worry about trying to figure out what a person's wishes might have been because the documentation is already in place. Furthermore, planned giving can establish a legacy of philanthropy in a family and can be a way for a person to pass down values along with assets. Planned giving also provides an opportunity for a donor to discuss a nonprofit's needs with that organization and determine what type of giving would be most beneficial. The donor can have the same type of conversation with family members and make similar decisions tailored to beneficiaries' situations and preferences.

Tax benefits are one advantage of planned giving. Depending on the type of vehicle that is created, these benefits might be both during a donor's lifetime and may also apply to beneficiaries. Examples of the options available are charitable gift annuities, IRA charitable rollovers and charitable remainder trusts.

Estate planning that does not include planned giving can still involve talking to family members and creating a plan that takes their needs into account. It is best to think of this as an ongoing conversation rather than a single discussion. Over time, needs, assets and families will change, and for this reason, estate plans need to be reviewed and updated regularly. Another aspect of estate planning involves preparing for end-of-life care and the possibility of being incapacitated. Powers of attorney can appoint people to make financial and medical decisions on an incapacitated person's behalf.

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