Many of our clients are deeply committed to supporting cherished causes even beyond their lifetime. We are focused on helping you integrate your charitable goals smoothly into your estate planning, ensuring your generosity has a lasting impact.

Iowa-Specific Considerations for Charitable Giving

Charitable giving within an estate plan isn’t just a way to support a cause but can also effectively manage your tax liabilities. In Iowa, integrating charity into your estate planning can bring significant advantages:

  • Tax Benefits: In Iowa, charitable contributions can reduce the size of your taxable estate, potentially leading to lower estate taxes. This can be particularly advantageous if your estate exceeds the federal estate tax exemption limit, as the charitable deduction is unlimited.
  • Legal Structures: Iowa recognizes various legal structures to facilitate charitable giving. Options such as charitable trusts or foundations can be established, allowing for continued support of your favorite causes while benefiting your estate. These include:
    • Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRTs): These allow you to receive income (or provide income to another person) for life or a set term of years, after which the remaining assets go to your chosen charity.
    • Charitable Lead Trusts (CLTs): Unlike CRTs, these trusts provide income to a charity for several years, with the remaining assets eventually reverting to you or your heirs, often with significant tax savings.
    • Private Foundations: For those with larger estates, establishing a private foundation can create a lasting legacy of charitable giving. This allows you to retain control over the donated assets and their charitable use, even as it provides tax benefits.
  • Iowa Tax Credits: Iowa also offers specific state tax incentives for charitable giving. For example, the Endow Iowa Tax Credit program provides a 25% Iowa tax credit and regular federal charitable income tax deductions for certain charitable gifts.

Options for Including Charity in Your Estate Plan

There are several ways to include charitable giving in your estate plan. Here are a few options that we can help you explore:

  • Bequests in Wills: Specifying a donation through your will is one of the simplest ways to leave a charitable legacy. You can designate a specific dollar amount, a particular asset, or a percentage of your estate to go to charity.
  • Charitable Trusts: These can provide you with income during your lifetime and benefit your chosen charities afterward.
  • Designated Beneficiary: You can name a charity as a beneficiary on retirement accounts or life insurance policies, which is not only simple but also allows the charity to receive funds directly upon your death.

Implementing Your Charitable Wishes

To ensure that your charitable goals are met, it’s crucial to take a thoughtful approach:

  • Specify your intentions: Clearly define how you want the charity to use the funds. This could be for general use or designated for a specific purpose.
  • Choose the right charities: Verify that the charities you select are registered and in good standing to ensure that your contribution is used effectively.
  • Consult with professionals: Discussing your plans with legal and financial advisors is essential to smoothly integrating your charitable goals into your broader financial and estate planning strategy.

Periodic Review and Updates

Life changes, and so might your charitable intentions or preferred organizations. Regular reviews of your estate plan ensure that your charitable giving reflects your current wishes and life circumstances. This includes revisiting your choices if:

  • Personal circumstances change: Such as financial status or family dynamics.
  • Charitable organizations evolve: Organizations might change their mission or effectiveness, influencing your choice to support them.

We Are Here to Help You Make a Difference

Incorporating charitable giving into your estate plan is a commendable decision that can provide significant personal fulfillment and lasting impact. At Huizenga Law Firm, P.C., we are here to ensure that your charitable contributions are set up effectively, respecting both your legacy and the causes you care about.

For help understanding how to effectively include charitable giving in your estate planning, contact Huizenga Law Firm, P.C., today at 712-737-3885 or online. Whether setting up a charitable trust or making specific bequests, our team is ready to assist you in creating a lasting legacy that reflects your values and supports the community.