Estate planning is an important part of stewardship. It provides an opportunity for you to make thoughtful decisions about how your assets will be disbursed at your death, who will administer your estate, who will take care of your minor children or disabled family members and gives you an opportunity to benefit your church. To make decisions and have documents already in place before they are needed is a method to make your wishes known.
Do not assume that the state’s distribution for an individual who dies without a formal Will is the plan that you might need. There are many things to consider.
We welcome the opportunity to help you prepare a Family Information Form. Our confidential interview is the initial step prior to the attorney interview in the document preparation process.
Trust Services personnel have received specific education and are certified by the North American Division Planned Giving and Trust Services Certification and Accreditation Committee. We are required to complete yearly continuing education courses to maintain our certification. The department office practices and records are regularly audited by the Columbia Union General Conference Auditing Service.
How the Care Act Affects your Giving
You may be wondering how the CARES Act affects your giving or that of the donors in your church family. Recently we received from the NAD several sources which are synthesized as follows:
1. A new “Above the Line” deduction for charitable donations for non-itemizers
Donors who are non-itemizers are given an option to reduce taxable income for 2020. This new above-the-line deduction reduces their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) and thereby taxable income. It is designed to encourage 90% of taxpayers to itemize their 2020 deductions.
Has the following restrictions:
- Funds must be given to a registered charity
- Maximum of $300 per individual or $600 for a couple.
- Unavailable for Donor Advised Funds (DAF)’s or Supporting Organizations (SO)’s
- Unavailable for a cash donation carried over from a previous year
- It is currently restricted to the 2020 tax year.
2. 100% of AGI limit available in 2020 for cash gifts to charities
For cash gifts, donors may elect to apply a new and only for 2020 100% of adjusted gross income (AGI) limit to a charity, under the following criteria:
- Donors qualify to carry forward the 100% of AGI for up to 5 years, though at the normal 60% limit.
- Other itemized charitable deductions are reduced dollar by dollar. If the donor chooses to use their full 100% AGI limit in 2020, they could.
- Not eligible for this are cash gifts from DAF or SO’s
Donors should discuss with their financial advisors the suitability of 100% AGI limit
3. Required Minimum Distributions for 2020 is waived
Most donors can defer the Required Minimum Distribution from their retirement plan from 2020 until 2021. Who is affected:
- During 2020 most donors with IRA’s, 401k’s or 403b and many other defined benefit pension managed by an employer for their employee are not required to take a minimum distribution.
- An exemption to the ruling is where minimum distributions had already started from a defined pension plan or some 457 plans. They must continue.
- Otherwise, the required minimum distributions can be deferred to 2021.
- However, if a donor wishes to make a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) donation in 2020 they can direct up to $100,000 to the charity.
4. Two types of financial gifts made by Corporations
- The 10% limit on cash gifts has been raised to 25%. With an option for amounts greater than 25% to be carried forward for up to 5 years.
- Increasing gifts to food inventory has increased by corporations has risen to 25% from 15%.
If you or your church members have any questions concerning how to make these charitable gifts, we request that you direct them to any of our team members.