June 7th, 2016
By Father Anthony Giampietro
Over the next few months, Basilian Father Anthony Giampietro, director of development for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, will write a series of articles on topics related to personal planning, especially estate planning. His goal is to provide up-to-date information for you and your loved ones as you plan for the future.
In my first article in this series, I described the personal planning seminars we held earlier this spring. Our goal in the seminars was to provide practical advice in three important areas that are often confusing or unsettling: end of life bioethical decisions, funeral and cemetery planning, and estate planning. In this article, I will focus on a couple of topics in estate planning. Many people do not realize that there are pretty simple ways to allow more of their estate to pass to their heirs and to charity, while at the same time allowing for increased income in retirement.
Estate lawyers stress the importance of having a living trust (also called a “revocable living trust,” or a “revocable trust”), especially if one’s estate is worth over $150,000. After a person dies, there is a court-supervised process of settling a person’s estate. This process, called “probate,” can be expensive, time consuming and burdensome for one’s heirs. Property left through a living trust can pass to beneficiaries without probate.
Another benefit to a trust is that it allows significant flexibility in charitable giving. One vehicle for such giving is a Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT). Through a CRT, a donor can transfer property or cash to a trust that pays income for his/her life or for a specified number of years. The remainder goes to a designated charity. The donor will receive an income tax deduction for the year in which the transfer is made. The donor does not pay capital gains tax on appreciated property. Furthermore, the assets within the CRT are deducted from the calculation of the overall estate tax, which means significant savings to estate owners and their beneficiaries.
Those who might consider setting up a Charitable Remainder Trust include persons who have property that produces little or no income and which can be converted into an income stream for retirement. The donor benefits by the income generated and by not having to pay capital gains taxes.
In conclusion, establishing a charitable remainder trust might can be very beneficial, both for yourself and for your favorite charity. Naturally, I would like you to consider helping your parish and the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Through a CRT you can supplement your present income and also help the charity of your choice.
For more information, you may also visit our new planned giving website: sfarchlegacy.org or contact Father Anthony at GiampietroA@sfarch.org or at (415) 614-5582
Basilian Father Giampietro is director of development for the Archdiocese of San Francisco.
From June 9, 2016 issue of Catholic San Francisco.