Charitable Giving Planning
Have you ever wondered how you can give back to your community in an impactful way? As you plan for your estate, including a charitable giving component can be advantageous in minimizing the reduction of your wealth due to taxes during your lifetime and at death.
How do I minimize taxes to the CRA?
How can I incorporate philanthropic planning into my estate plan?
Yes – You can donate real estate to a charity. Many charities accept real estate as a donation; however, a charity will often sell your property and turn it into cash. This process can involve several steps that the charity will have to invest time in to realize the real estate value.
Charitable Remainder Trust
You may be interested in leaving cash or assets in your estate to beneficiaries in addition to donating to charity. A charitable remainder trust will allow you to disperse income to the beneficiaries of your Trust (including yourself while alive) while donating the remainder to a charity of your choice. These trusts are irrevocable and are designed to offer unique tax benefits.
For example, you can transfer property on a tax-deferred basis into this type of Trust and receive income for your lifetime but are not entitled to the actual capital. The charity of your choice becomes the capital beneficiary and receives the money upon your death. With this type of transaction, the charity will issue a receipt for the fair market value of the residual interest when you transfer the property into the Trust. Determining the fair market value of the donation requires the involvement of valuators and actuaries.
Other planning might include using a charitable annuity to fulfill your philanthropic goals. An agreement is signed between you, the donor, and the charity when you make your donation with a charitable annuity. The charity then takes your donation amount and uses some of your donated amount to purchase an annuity to provide you with payments on a fixed schedule. The charity then issues you a donation receipt for the excess of your donation amount over the cost to the charity in purchasing this annuity.
Charitable giving in your estate planning is a powerful way to support organizations that you care about while benefiting from offsetting your taxes while alive and upon death.