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Philanthropic giving: a win-win scenario for many estates

Doing good while simultaneously preserving family wealth, mitigating tax exactions and making a statement about enduring family values.

That pretty much sums up the motivations that fuel the desire of many people to include charitable contributions in their estate planning.

In fact, charitable giving is a logical slam dunk for many individuals and families as they seek to prepare for the future. On the one hand, philanthropy is flatly very important in many families and promotes self-sacrifice and values regarding civic commitment in an enduring way across successive generations.

On the other hand, what's not to like about perpetuating strongly held values while at the same time achieving important estate planning goals related to asset preservation and the avoidance of capital gains and other taxes?

A common misconception held by many people in Texas and across the country is that philanthropic giving is necessarily confined to the super rich.

Luckily, that is simply not the case; an experienced estate planning attorney can work with individuals and family clients to fully flesh out values and beliefs and then identify giving strategies that fully promote them while simultaneously making sense from a financial perspective.

Indeed, many people from all walks of life find gifting and other forms of charitable giving to be tremendously fulfilling from multiple perspectives.

Smart philanthropic strategies of course demand guidance that is based on close knowledge of relevant laws, taxation schemes and myriad other matters. A number of estate planning tools exist that might -- or might not -- be optimal for promoting charitable outcomes in a given case.

Those include provisions in wills, outright gifting, charitable trusts, donor-advised funds, community and family foundations and additional opportunities.

A proven estate planning attorney with strong experience in helping clients promote philanthropic objectives can answer questions and provide strong representation in this important planning area.

Source: The Des Moines Register, "Mokosak: Charitable giving can have estate benefits," Frank Mokosak, May 3, 2014

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