Sharpe Blog

Sharpe Blog

Posted September 14th, 2018

Gifts for Which There Are No Tax Benefits

Gift planning has focused traditionally on squeezing maximum tax benefits out of a gift arrangement. There are, however, some good gift arrangements for which little or no tax benefits are available. “Good” here means good for the donee organization. Let’s consider some specific examples. Donor contributes a valuable painting she painted: Donor’s income tax charitable… read more

Posted September 5th, 2018

Questions & Answers

WHY DOESN’T THE DONOR REALIZE GAIN WHEN GIVING AN APPRECIATED ASSET SUCH AS APPRECIATED STOCK? Gain is realized only on the sale or exchange of an appreciated asset. Note that a gift annuity funded with appreciated stock involves a sale or exchange (it’s a kind of bargain sale). Note too that a gift of mortgaged… read more

Posted August 28th, 2018

IRS Has Issued New Gift Substantiation Regulations

These regs are important. They deal with gift receipts and qualified appraisals, documents on which IRS auditors focus. The new regs take effect January 1, 2019. Without a correct gift receipt, Donor will have his or her entire federal income tax charitable deduction disallowed on audit. Same result as to an appraisal that doesn’t meet… read more

Posted August 13th, 2018

Working With Life Estate Gifts

Life estate gifts involve the gift of a personal residence or farm subject to a retained life estate. The retained interest also can be an estate for a term of years. “Estate” means the exclusive right to occupy or the right to rents (e.g., in the case of a farm leased to a tenant). “Personal… read more

Posted August 3rd, 2018

Finding Missing Money

When working on an estate where you are the primary beneficiary, it can be worth checking www.missingmoney.com for lost assets. This is a joint website set up by 42 (so far) state unclaimed property agencies to help find missing assets. Just plug in your or your organization’s name and see what pops up. It also offers… read more

Posted July 18th, 2018

Working With Baby Boomers

Everyone who has worked on lots of planned gifts from Baby Boomers, hold up your hands. Just as I thought. Sure, there are gift plans that fit. Lead trusts in some cases. Term-of-years CRTs. Deferred payment gift annuities. Virtual endowments. The writer hasn’t seen more than a few window shoppers and at most only a… read more

Posted July 9th, 2018

Working With Older Donors—Part 2

Older individuals who have inherited wealth are often mistrusting of others, and usually for good reason. There are lots of people who would like to get their hands on the wealth. Such an individual typically has a few close advisers or confidantes she trusts, and that’s it. The problem often is, the wealthy individual trusts… read more

Posted June 20th, 2018

Working With Older Donors—Part 1

A major area of planned gift fundraising is working with elderly individuals.  Here some problems to anticipate: The donor repeatedly over time asks the same question or asks for information you’ve already provided. It’s probably best to provide this individual with a postage-paid envelope addressed to you and ask that he or she communicate with… read more

Posted May 29th, 2018

The Role of State Law in Charitable Gift Planning

Good charitable gift planning often requires an understanding of applicable state law. Pledges: The enforceability of a pledge depends on the law of the state whose laws govern the pledge. For example, Donor lives in New Jersey and makes a spoken (non-written) promise to give $X to a charity located in Kentucky. If New Jersey… read more

Posted May 21st, 2018

Anticipating and Avoiding Problems

The world of charitable gift planning is a world of well-meaning donors who do a world of good across an incredible spectrum of needs, wants and aspirations. It’s too bad, but it must not be ignored by gift planners, that the most well-meaning donor can be tripped up by the tax law, be given faulty… read more

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