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Legacy Planning with Donor Advised Funds

Posted by Katie O'Connor | Director of Client Services

May 16, 2018

If part of your legacy and estate planning involves giving to charity, you may want to consider Donor Advised Funds (DAF). DAFs are not generally telegraphed as a solution for investors with charitable inclinations, but perhaps they should be – DAFs offer a unique approach to giving assets, potentially growing your assets, and then donating them to the charity (or charities) of your choosing – all in a tax efficient manner.

So What Are Donor Advised Funds Exactly?

The IRS defines them as a fund or account operated by a charitable, 501(c)(3) organization, which is known as a “sponsoring organization.” Once a Donor Advised Fund is established at a sponsoring organization, contributions are made to the account by individual donors. These contributions can range from anything to cash, or mutual funds, or commercial or residential real estate, to life insurance policies and more. Once the donor makes the contribution, the sponsoring organization has legal control over it, but the donor is generally entitled to an immediate tax deduction associated with the charitable contributions and would also maintain control over the investment management and distribution of funds from the account.

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legacy planning donor designated trusts donor advised funds