The GCT was fortunate this year to receive two donations from two different planned giving bequests. Planned giving has long been a sta- ple in the philanthropic tool kit, and it had us wondering how many people know of this im- portant way of charitable giving. One of these gifts came from a retirement plan from former trustee, June Johnson, at the time of her death in the spring. Steve Lieman, June’s husband, agreed to talk more about June’s planned giv- ing. We will explore different planned giving plans in upcoming newsletters.
GCT: June named the GCT as beneficiary to an IRA. Is this complicated?
Steve: It was almost effortless. All June needed to do was to make the GCT a named beneficiary of her IRA and assign a percentage of the total IRA that would be paid to the GCT. She was able to carry out the steps on-line with her financial institution in just a matter of minutes. Once in place, June did not have to give this another thought although she could have adjusted the beneficiary percentages at any time with the same simple steps.
GCT: What makes this an effective planned giving tool?
Steve: The beauty of naming your favorite charitable organization as a beneficiary of your IRA is that there is no need to make any changes to your will or any other estate documents that you have.
GCT: How does this differ from naming an organization in your will?
Steve: There is no need for the gifted funds to wait for the often lengthy estate probate process. And these funds are part of your own retirement plan; you use the funds until you move on. Also, for those of us inclined to make planned charitable gifts and who own both tax-deferred retirement and non-retirement accounts, we may wish to prioritize our tax-deferred retirement ac- counts as the source for our planned giving to qualified charities (such as the GCT) since these gifts would avoid the taxation that would otherwise apply.