1. When possible, make your gifts in appreciated securities. Not only do you get the usual federal income tax deduction for the full amount of the gift, but you’ll also avoid paying any capital gains taxes on those stocks. That’s a win-win, especially with the stock market on the rise of late.
2. Pledge early, pay later. Why? At Pike, making a pledge means the end of a long stream of emails, letters, and phone calls asking you to give. That saves everyone (especially you!) lots of aggravation. Plus, it’s cool to be early.
3. Understand how tax changes could affect your deductions. No one has a crystal ball, but a gift made before the end of 2017 could–for some people–mean a higher tax deduction than the same gift made in 2018. We’re not tax advisors, so ask yours how potential changes now under discussion in Washington might impact you specifically.
4. Consider adding charities to your estate plan. No, you’re not too young. [Fun fact: the average age for making a first will is 48] No, it’s not too complicated. Including charitable distributions in your estate plan is easy, and can even be added to an existing will through a very simple addendum. Talk to an attorney to learn more. And let charitable organizations know if you’ve included them in your planning–they’ll want to thank you and celebrate your commitment!