Sharpe Blog

Sharpe Blog

Posted August 31st, 2017

How Do Bargain Sales Work?

A bargain sale is a sale to charity at a bargain price. The classic example is a sale of real estate to a charity at a price below fair market value (FMV). Or supposedly below FMV. Charities need to be cautious when offered real estate at a supposed bargain price, unless the charity wants the… read more

Posted August 1st, 2017

Let’s Take a Look at Charitable Bequest Planning, Part 3

Read Part 2 here Charitable bequests fall into three categories: a bequest of a specific dollar amount a bequest of a portion of the donor’s residuary estate a bequest of a specific asset The specific dollar bequest should be paid by the executor relatively early in the settling of the donor’s estate. So should the… read more

Posted July 20th, 2017

Let’s Take a Look at Charitable Bequest Planning, Part 2

Read Part 1 here. Charitable bequests by the wealthy are often made not only to carry out a philanthropic objective but also to save taxes and maybe also to achieve some other purpose. For example, wealthy individuals often leave wealth to a private family foundation both to avoid estate taxes and to provide downstream heirs… read more

Posted July 7th, 2017

Let’s Take a Look at Charitable Bequest Planning, Part 1

Lots of questions. Here are a few: Is the federal estate tax a concern? Is state law a planning consideration? Does the donor want to bequeath a specific dollar amount or a specific asset or a percentage of his or her residuary estate? Does the donor want to create a restricted endowment? Does the donor… read more

Posted June 27th, 2017

Gift Planning to Benefit Third Parties

Third parties such as the donor’s grandchild, sibling, or housekeeper. To a large extent, gift planning depends upon the age of the individual to be benefited. For example, if the individual is a newborn grandchild and the goal is to provide future college education funds, the best planning may be to set up a purely… read more

Posted June 6th, 2017

Let’s Take a Look at Gift Annuities, Part 3

There’s one more gift annuity topic we need to consider: the application of federal securities laws to a gift annuity program. This is a two-part discussion. Part 1 is the fact that the 1995 Philanthropy Protection Act (“PPA”), which grew out of a Texas gift annuity transaction, applies federal securities laws to certain planned gift… read more

Posted May 16th, 2017

Let’s Take a Look at Gift Annuities, Part 2

Read part one here. Donors and others often believe charitable gift annuities are like commercial annuities, but the two are different. A commercial annuity is a product that can only be purchased with cash. A charitable gift annuity, on the other hand as discussed last time, is a contractual arrangement that may be funded with… read more

Posted May 4th, 2017

Let’s Take a Look at Gift Annuities, Part 1

A gift annuity is a contract between a donor (or married couple) and a charity, whereby the charity promises to pay an annuity for either one life or two lives. The underlined terms bear consideration. The fact a gift annuity is a contract means a gift annuity is formed by offer and acceptance. The charity… read more

Posted April 17th, 2017

Let’s Take a Look at the Federal Gift Tax, Part 2

Last time, we encountered the $14,000 (for 2017) annual gift exclusion, which shields up to $14,000 a year given to any one individual from gift tax. For example, in 2017 Tillie gives each of her six grandchildren a check for $14,000: there is no gift tax; Tillie is allowed six $14,000 annual exclusions. Now, to… read more

Posted April 4th, 2017

Let’s Take a Look at the Federal Gift Tax, Part 1

The federal gift tax doesn’t raise much revenue (less than 2% of the total federal revenue). Like the estate tax, it is retained today for political, not revenue-raising, purposes. It’s a complex and tricky tax. There’s no reason for a gift officer to try to grasp the whole of it; but gift planners do need… read more

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