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Jackie’s Corner

  • Here is a little quiz to help you check your knowledge of charitable gift annuities. Read each of the following seven statements and then select a word from the list of 15 words to make the statement true. No word in the list is used more than once. For the answers, see below. Good luck! 1.  A person who received payments from a gift annuity is called an __________. 2.  […]

  • The following True or False quiz will help you measure how much you know – or don’t know – about having a will. True      False                 Most states will honor a hand-written will as long as it is signed by an attorney. True      False                 A married couple only needs to have one will. True      False                 If a person dies without a will, the state automatically takes one-half of […]

  • Here are five questions for you: Do you have a vacation property or another parcel of land you are not using? Would you like your property to provide income for you? Would you like to avoid paying possible capital gains tax on the sale of your property? Would you like someone else to handle the sale of your property (saving you the usual sales headaches)? Would you like to support […]

  • Donors are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of establishing named funds, so it is not surprising that the Columbus Jewish Foundation’s holdings have grown to the neighborhood of $120 million. A significant portion of this growth comes from endowment gifts. What is the source of these gifts? Many are initiated via estate distributions. Others get started during life and built over time. Some donors work from both ends, starting […]

  • We are approaching the 50th anniversary of the Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young recording of Graham Nash’s “Teach Your Children.” Though he wrote it while a member of the Hollies, it would appear on CSNY’s second album in 1970. It was the group’s fourth single on the charts and followed the hit, “Woodstock.” The song urges parents to let the kids “know they love you” and all the while to […]

  • Interest rates remain low, and across the country the housing market is strong. Many people are discovering that their real estate holdings are more valuable than ever. Regardless of how they feel about stocks and bonds they may own, their property values are rising. This presents an opportunity for using raw land, a commercial building, or even a vacation property to fulfill a philanthropic legacy. For example, taxable property that […]

  • “Who would take our children? I am not sure anyone would be willing to take them,” remarked Shelly to her attorney, Jim. “It’s not that they aren’t good children. They are all fine, but there are 11 of them! If something happens to Pat and me, who will take them?” Personal Guardian for Minor Children One very important decision to make when creating an estate plan is to decide who […]

  • It is quite possible you can make a charitable gift and actually increase your retirement income. Take for example Minnie Horowitz (not a real person). She is 80 years old, and receives retirement income from various sources, including certificates of deposit. One of her CDs is maturing and she’s hesitant to take out another one because of the low rates. Then Mrs. Horowitz learns about charitable gift annuities. At her […]

  • The language used to make a gift through your will can be confusing sometimes. We talk about making a bequest, but what is it really? The word “bequest” has its origins in Old English, and confusion often follows such early medieval terms. A bequest was originally a transfer of personal property by will. By historical contrast, the transfer of real property (generally real estate and property rights attached to land) […]

  • One of the reasons donors create endowment funds is to perpetuate their values. For example, Sarah and Winston Mensch believe in the mission of the BestCharityEver and want to provide ongoing financial support to further the non-profit in the years to come. They create the Sara and Winston Mensch Operations Endowment Fund at BestCharityEver with a current gift to the organization. They also earmark a portion of their estate to […]

  • “Perpetuity” is one of those five-dollar words you don’t run across every day. Chances are you’ll never hear it on the six o’clock news or read it in the evening paper. It’s not something you’ll see on a theater marquee. But “perpetuity” is a word that’s used at community foundations all the time. Perpetuity perfectly describes endowments, which are the bedrock of all community foundation endeavors. The phrase “in perpetuity” […]

  • Most of us have experienced “buyer’s remorse.”  A smooth-talking salesperson rushes us into a decision we are unprepared to make. The usual pattern involves the purchase of a car or something else of value. At first we try our best to be happy with our choice. But, invariably, the next morning we awake to the inescapable realization that we made a poor decision. We are angry at the salesperson … […]

  • The term “in memoriam” suggests an act performed or a gift given in memory of, or as a memorial to, someone held in high esteem. For example, a person may establish a named endowment fund at a favored charity or community foundation as a means of perpetually honoring the memory of a loved one. This can be done during life with an outright gift or later through a will bequest […]

  • In the Tax Reform Act of 1969, the Internal Revenue Code permitted a giving vehicle for foundations, called “program-related investments” (PRIs). A PRI is a method of making capital available to both nonprofits and for-profits that are addressing social or environmental concerns. The Internal Revenue Service recently issued new regulations that encourage foundations to enhance the impact of their philanthropically committed capital by using PRIs when investing at least some […]

  • Why do so many people with a charitable gift annuity obtain another one … and another? There are at least three reasons why these donors become repeat customers. Satisfaction Most donors ease into their first gift annuity with a degree of concern. After all, this is a new arrangement for them and they wonder how well it will work. Will the payment amount be as promised? Will the checks arrive […]

  • Think Again You need a will. Everyone does. Whether you have a large or small estate, a will is an essential document. A thoughtful and well-planned will is critical to ensure that your intentions are carried out. Note: A trust can serve the same purpose as a will. Frequently, a will directs all assets to a trust as a central collecting point. Check with your legal advisor on what is […]

  • Each year, IRA and 401(k)s are subject to required minimum distributions (RMDs). Because the distributions start at just under 4% at age 71 and then slowly increase, many IRA and 401(k) plans will continue to grow. While the distributions will eventually become larger, most individuals will eventually pass away with an IRA or 401(k) balance reasonably close to the value of their plan at age 70. For this reason, the […]

  • Each of us begins life with a blank sheet of paper. Well, it’s more like a book of blank pages. As we go through the days and years, we write our story through our thoughts and doings. Some of us live long enough to have a book of many pages … and some live for only a few pages. Some have many chapters denoting a variety of interests and involvements; […]

  • Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was diagnosed with cancer in January 1994. She signed a will in the New York offices of a large law firm on March 22, 1994. She passed away just two months later on May 19 at the age of 64. Because a will is a public document, her will is available on the internet. In the will she remembered family members, several friends and planned to make […]

  • Real property values have been rising at a time when interest rates have remained low for an extended period. Financial assets have seen market values increase, too. Is it timely to consider making a gift of your real estate? You may have a vacation property or undeveloped lot that has appreciated in value over the years. Did you intend to use it a lot more when it was purchased than […]

  • By Jackie Jacobs Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, contribute about 43 percent of all dollars given in the United States.  Seventy-two percent of them support charity, to the tune of about $61.9 billion per year. Baby Boomers started turning 65 in 2011, marking the unofficial beginning of their retirement years. The timing could not be better for older Boomers, who are a part of the wealthiest generation in U.S. […]

  • On June 1, 2016, Ohio became the first state in the country to launch STABLE accounts, which allow individuals with disabilities to save and invest without losing eligibility for certain public benefits programs, like Medicaid, SSI, or SSDI. STABLE Accounts are made possible by the federal Achieving a Better Life Experience (“ABLE”) Act passed by Congress in 2014.  Earnings in STABLE Accounts are not subject to federal income tax, so […]

  • There is a strong likelihood that a new bill permitting IRA rollovers to life income gifts will be passed this time by Congress.  If not this year, there is good hope for passage in 2017. Unlike prior versions of this bill that were unsuccessful, HR 5171, the Legacy IRA Act, has been favorably scored and has bipartisan support from key Congressional leaders. The Legacy IRA Act was introduced on May 6 […]

  • A Charitable Gift Annuity is a contract between you and a charitable organization. You agree to make a gift to the charity and in return, the charity agrees to make income payments to you for the rest of your life.  Here are some questions and answers that you should be know before entering into a Charitable Gift Annuity contract. Can I make a gift to a charity of something other […]

  • By Jackie Jacobs A Charitable Gift Annuity is “the gift that gives back.” You give to a charity and you receive regular payments for the rest of your life. It is a planned gift that truly lasts a lifetime. For example, let’s say you make a straight-out gift of $50,000 to your favorite charity for a gift annuity. This contribution is split into two parts: “part gift” and “part contract.” […]

  • Planned giving is the process of making a charitable gift in a way that provides maximum benefit to the charity and the donor. Such gifts involve major assets and thus require thoughtful consideration. Making a well-planned gift can be challenging and somewhat time-consuming. It can also be one of life’s most satisfying experiences. Here are four steps to guide you in making a fulfilling planned gift. Ponder. Consider what you […]

  • By Jackie Jacobs There’s rarely been a better time to obtain a charitable gift annuity. Low interest rates and roller-coaster markets are causing people to think twice about their financial decisions, and to consider the benefits of a charitable gift annuity. Attractive Rates When you compare standard charitable gift annuity rates (as recommended by the American Council on Gift Annuities) with what you might receive from a savings account or […]

  • More people make charitable contributions while they are living than later through their wills. Fact is, more people never get around to making a will. They die, as the lawyers say, “intestate.” What is there about a will that puts people off? Why do so many of us seem to lack the will to make a will? Well, for one thing, it is inconvenient to find a good attorney, make […]

  • Do You Have a Difficult Family?  A businessman with a $2.5 billion estate passed away in 1976. He was single and many individuals, mostly unrelated to him, filed more than 40 wills with the probate court. Not surprisingly, the individuals who filed the 40 wills hoped to become beneficiaries of a large portion of the estate.  Twenty-two cousins fought with all of the other individuals claiming a share of the […]

  • There are many ways to establish an endowment fund. Some donors  get started during life and build their endowment over time. Others might initiate their fund with a distribution from their estate. Still others might work from both ends — starting their endowment now and adding to it later with a bequest. Why do people choose to make endowment gifts?   It depends.  Here are five factors that I’ve seen motivate […]

  • By Marcia J. Wexberg, Esq. Prince Rogers Nelson, the musical giant known as Prince, died suddenly last April at age 57 without leaving a will, throwing his musical legacy and his tax situation into turmoil.  He was known in his lifetime for an almost obsessive control of his music, having succeeded in taking over his valuable copyrights two years ago. That control is now upended as there apparently is no will […]

  • By Jackie Jacobs The Columbus Jewish Foundation’s charitable gift annuity program appeals to many donors for several reasons. First, the annuity payments are fixed and unaffected by the ups and downs of market conditions. You can count on receiving the same amount on every payment date. Second, the payment rates are very attractive, especially for older donors. Third, the payments last a lifetime. It doesn’t matter how long you live.  […]

  • There is a lovely Jewish custom of writing what is referred to as an ethical will.  Originally an oral tradition, ethical wills have been used for centuries to pass on life lessons and ethics, such as the importance of charity. As noted in Ethical Wills: A Modern Treasury , edited by Jack Riemer and Nathaniel Stampfer, the first ethical wills were in the Bible.  Jacob gathered his children around his bedside […]

  • A charitable gift annuity is like a fruit tree in at least five respects. First, a tree keeps yielding fruit while remaining the same tree year after year. When you obtain a gift annuity, the gift tree stays planted in the charity’s orchard.   Each year it provides fruit in the form of payments to the annuitant(s).  Thus, a gift annuity is both tree and fruit.  You give the tree to […]

  • Would you like to continue supporting your favorite charity, synagogue or the Jewish Federation’s annual campaign 100 years from now? You can…and here’s how:  Simply add up your annual gifts for the year and multiply by 25. Then, establish a gift for that amount through you will or other planned giving device. The “multiply by 25” formula will assure an annual charitable gift at the same dollar value you are […]

  • Despite the many important and emotional benefits derived from having an up – to – date will, many wealthy, well-educated, and famous people have died without having valid wills. The list of those dying intestate must be headed by President Abraham Lincoln. According to Herbert E. Nass’s 1991 book, Wills of the Rich and Famous, Lincoln is joined on the presidential intestacy parade by Ulysses S. Grant, James Garfield and […]

  • Not long ago, I was told about a local community member who recently passed away without a will, leaving an estate of over $4 million. It’s not an uncommon story.  More than 60 percent of all Americans die without leaving a will. The relatives of the decedent learned a hard lesson.  If you die without a “Last Will and Testament,” your state of residence takes over.  This means that a […]

  • Nowadays, it is not uncommon for people to have more than one life insurance policy. The policies may have been purchased for a number of reasons, such as to provide financial security for family members, to pay for estate taxes and other expenses associated with the settlement of an estate, or as a savings plan. It is possible that you actually have excess coverage, in which case a life insurance […]

  • Nowadays, it is not uncommon for people to have more than one life insurance policy.  The policies may have been purchased for a number of reasons, such as to provide financial security for family members, to pay for estate taxes and other expenses associated with the settlement of an estate, or as a savings plan. It is possible that you actually have excess coverage, in which case a life insurance […]

  • There is a reason why the main estate-planning document that is used to disburse one’s assets at death is called a “will.” This single word encases the wishes of the deceased. It expresses the intention, the goal, or the purpose of the one making the declaration. The document contains legal words of one’s personal will. “I will that Jennifer receive my pearl necklace.” In this document, a person establishes the […]

  • Charitable giving survives economic downdrafts. That’s because people continue to care about the causes they have long supported and donate generously even when they have less to give. They also tend to be more astute in their charitable contributions. For example, one of the more popular forms of giving these days is a device known as the charitable gift annuity. These are particularly well-liked because they provide such a high […]

  • How much do you know about charitable gift annuities? Here is a short quiz to test your knowledge about one of the most popular American charitable gift techniques. True or False: T    F -  The donor who creates a gift annuity is known as the “annuitant.” T    F – The maximum number of annuitants is two. T    F -  Donors can deduct the entire amount funding a gift annuity T    […]

  • Pete was a worried man. It’s not that he had any extraordinary concerns; he’s pretty much like the rest of us. But Pete’s the type who watches out the window to see if the postal carrier is on time today. He reconciles his checking account immediately once it arrives, and he spends an hour or more each month reading his brokerage statement. Then something new came along that eased his […]

  • One of the reasons that individuals prefer to make estate gifts to charities through their wills is the opportunity they have to make changes as time goes on. Because a will is a revocable legal document, they can either have their attorney draft a new will, or add a codicil to an existing will. Some people make several changes over the years as their situations change. Why would someone want […]

  • Have you ever purchased and wrapped the “perfect” gift for your spouse or close friend and watched with excitement as the person tore away the paper? You knew the gift would be a hit, and you could hardly stand it as the anticipation grew. Then the magic moment came as the box was opened. You delighted in the expression of surprise and joy. You beamed as words of gratitude filled […]

  • When you give money or stock to a charity to establish a charitable gift annuity, the charity must give you back annual payments for the rest of your life. Too good to be true? Seems like it, but true nonetheless. Many people take advantage of this opportunity, particularly those who appreciate additional retirement income. Here’s how it works: Mr. and Mrs. Smiley give $25,000 to a trusted charity to establish […]

  • Two things are certain and one nearly so.  The two, as you already know, are death and taxes.  The third is procrastination.  It is almost as predictable as the grave. For some reason, many people wait years to complete their estate plans.  They die and leave behind a mess that others have to sort through and solve. Because so many procrastinate in this area, the states have adopted rules to […]

  • The condo mostly stays vacant now. If that sounds like an all-too-familiar lament, you are not alone. Mr. and Mrs. Goodman are charitably-minded people who have owned a waterfront condominium for a number of years. While this second home once was a busy place, the children and grandchildren rarely visit nowadays. Still, the Goodmans spend a couple of months there each year. Working with their estate planner, the Goodmans learned […]

  • Picture yourself in an exotic location. You are finally on the long-awaited retirement trip with your spouse. The telephone rings. It is three o’clock in the morning. Startled from you sleep, your mind immediately races with dread. Who could be calling at this hour? “Did our son have an accident? Is my sister in trouble? Is a neighbor calling to say our house is on fire? Has a loved one […]

  • Whether your attorney suggests a will or revocable living trust for your estate, how you ultimately manage your estate remains completely within your control. You can set your plans up once and for all, or modify things later if you wish. Flexible charitable gift provisions can be devised at the same time that your will or revocable trust is prepared.  Each of us can make a general bequest, give specific […]

  • Did you know you can arrange a charitable gift now but defer completion of the gift until later? For example, when you include “ABC Charity” in your will, you make a two-step, or “deferred” gift. The first step occurs when you create your will.  Here, you name your favorite charity to receive a future bequest from your estate. The second step takes place when your will “matures” and the charity […]

  • The IRS just sent out a nice news wire over its enews service entitled “Back-to-School Reminder for Parents and Students. ”   It urges parents and students to see if they qualify for either of two college tax credits or other education-related tax benefits. The tax benefits available to students are summarized in IR-2015-102.  Two of the primary credits are the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit. Though […]

  • The major events in the lives of persons now age 50-70 were the tumultuous 60′s and oil shocks of the 70′s. Baby Boomers grew up in the midst of all of the turmoil of the 60′s and then began their working careers during the ups and downs of the 70′s. Just over a quarter of the total U.S. population are “Baby Boomers,” which refers to the dramatic post–World War II baby […]

  • A bequest is when you leave something in your will. You bequeath Aunt Martha’s ring to your daughter, your pool table to your son, and your house and cash assets to all of your children divided equally, with maybe a little something going to the grandkids. As you are thinking about this, you might start to think about your alma mater, synagogue, or the camp you attended growing up. Think […]

  • By Jackie Jacobs Some questions that come my way are head scratchers.  Here are several of them, including one about Kosher bequests. Can a person make a bequest to the United States government? Citizens who would like to make a general donation to the U.S. government may send contributions to a specific account called “Gifts to the United States, c/o U.S. Department of the Treasury.” This account was established in […]

  • By Jackie Jacobs Annual gifts and membership contributions are generally made from one’s annual discretionary income.  One might refer to such outright contributions as impulse gifts. In contrast, The term “planned gifts,” a term coined 43 years ago by Robert F. Sharpe, require more planning, negotiation and counsel. Planned giving is a type of charitable giving that allows you to express your personal values by integrating your charitable, family and financial […]

  • By Jackie Jacobs If your family physician determines you have a potential heart problem, of course you would seek out a specialist.  Seeking a higher level of expertise with your estate plan likewise makes sense How do you know if it is time to revise and update your estate plan? Start with a check list.  See if your current Will stacks up. Your Will may need to be updated if: […]

  • By Jackie Jacobs Some people are repeat givers.  They like to give to certain charities every year….perhaps because of a commitment to the charity’s mission, a sense of obligation, a gesture of gratitude, or maybe simply by force of habit. Whatever the reason (and there are many) the notion of continuous and lasting gifts is appealing to certain people.  I imagine such individuals to be akin to the good-natured souls […]

  • By Jackie Jacobs A generous donor happily informed me of a $100,000 charitable bequest provision in his Will for his pet charity.  At some future time, an organization that he loves will receive a very meaningful gift of significant magnitude. The fellow subsequently asked me if I think that the charity would like to get the gift before he died.   I thought he was pulling my leg: there is no […]

  • By Jackie Jacobs Would you like to make a gift to your favorite charities 100 years from now? You can…and here’s how: Simply add up your annual gifts for the year and multiply by 25. Then make an estate gift for this amount (through your will or other device) to your community foundation that is designated for the agencies that you wish to support. That is all there is to […]

  • By Jackie Jacobs When you give money or stock for a charitable gift annuity, the charity gives you back annual payments for the rest of your life. People have been availing themselves of charitable gift annuities for years.  The American Bible Society, a large New York City religious publisher, has been offering them (and also “Sharing God’s Word with the World”) since 1843. Most charities use payout rates defined by […]

  • By Jackie Jacobs What does charitable giving have to do with retirement planning? Lots, if you consider the benefits of a Deferred Payment Gift Annuity. Here’s how it works. You decide how much you want to contribute and (unlike an IRA) can place as much into it as you want. You can either write a check or transfer stock. For example, let’s say you’re 40 years old and you set […]

  • By Jackie Jacobs In the children’s tale, “Jack and the Bean Stock,” we read about a goose that lays golden eggs. Every morning, a few more golden eggs. A perpetual supply of wealth. What a concept! Endowments are the golden geese of the non-profit world. They are something to crow about. Every year they produce cash to help us meet our financial needs. Some endowments provide resources for general operating […]

  • By Jackie Jacobs Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis (1856-1941) was a strong advocate of tax-wise giving, as noted in the following extract from his essay entitled “Thoughts on Legitimate Tax Avoidance.” “I live in Alexandria, Virginia. Near the Supreme Court chambers is a toll bridge across the Potomac. When in a rush, I pay the dollar toll and get home early. However, I usually drive outside the downtown section […]

  • By Jackie Jacobs As financial markets go up and down with unpredictable speed, many seniors are turning to charitable gift annuities as a dependable source of lifetime income. They know they can count on receiving the same amount from the annuity, in regular installments every year from now on, and that’s a great comfort. They like the other features, too … attractive rates (up to nine percent), payments that are […]

  • By Jackie Jacobs Planned giving is the process of making a charitable gift in a way that provides maximum benefit to the charity and the donor – as well as others who may be involved. Such gifts usually involve major assets and thus require thoughtful consideration. While making a well-planned gift can be challenging and somewhat time-consuming, it can also be one of life’s most satisfying experiences. Here are four […]

  • By Jackie Jacobs People come up with all sorts of reasons for not having a will. Do any of these sound familiar to you? I don’t want to think about death Only rich people need wills I can’t afford a will I don’t have time now I don’t have an attorney My family will divide things when I’m gone I will do it just before I die You can probably […]

  • By Jackie Jacobs Shirley and Bill are generous, yet for years they thought about doing something extraordinary. Acting on the advice of their attorney, they took that step ten years ago by setting up a provision in their revocable living trust to give their house to their favorite charity. This was a valuable and significant deferred gift, yet it didn’t immediately remove anything of financial value from their net worth […]

  • How much do you know about the basics of having a will?  The following quiz may help you.  When you are done, find the answers below. Circle the correct answer: 1. Only one will is needed for a married couple.  True                              False 2. Probate fees claim one-third of the estate of anyone dying without a will.  True                              False 3.  If signed by an attorney, most states will recognize […]

  • “Who should receive my property?” asked Helen to her attorney, Clara. “There are so many decisions to make. Since Morgan passed away, I need to make these decisions myself. Should I give property to the children outright or in trust? Is there a best age for them to receive the property? And what if one of them were to pass away before I do? The grandchildren are still too young […]

  • By Jackie Jacobs Most of us acquire life insurance to help fund a personal need in case we don’t live as long as we hoped. Fortunately, many of us outlive our worst-case scenario. The typical result is that our insurance contract is in force, paid regularly (maybe even paid up), and growing in value even as our life is lengthening. In the meantime, perhaps our other assets grow to the […]

  • By Jackie Jacobs Something nearly as old as civilization itself can add an extremely human touch to the cold legalese of wills and trusts. Ethical wills are non-legal documents that complement legal wills, living wills and estate plans by passing on heartfelt wisdom to future generations. Traditionally, these messages have been written (or sometimes spoken and even recorded) by elder family members and directed toward their heirs. The concept has […]

  • By Jackie Jacobs For most people, the acronym POD means “Proof of Delivery” or “Payable on Demand.”  But in estate planning terminology, POD has another meaning: Payable on Death. POD bank accounts are commonly checking, savings, or CD accounts. They are sometimes called Totten trusts, tentative trusts, informal trusts, or revocable bank account trusts. Some folks even refer to them as a “poor man’s trust” because they are so simple […]

  • By Jackie Jacobs The end of the calendar year is an ideal time to review financial affairs and investment portfolios. It’s been a good year on Wall Street and many publicly-traded stocks have increased significantly in value. These gains present an opportunity to take advantage of tax laws that encourage charitable gifts of appreciated assets. Gifting appreciated stock directly to charitable organizations — rather than selling the assets and donating […]

  • By Jackie Jacobs Taxpayers age 70½ and older are required to make annual distributions from Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). In 2006, those individuals were for the first time permitted to make direct IRA transfers to charities without having to count the transfers as income for federal income tax purposes.  Since then, Congress periodically extended the legislation, through what has become generically known as IRA Charitable Rollover provisions. The IRA charitable […]

  • Mary was a surviving spouse. She and her first spouse, Ron owned a lovely home and placed it into joint tenancy with right of survivorship. After Ron passed away, Mary met Leonard and they were married. Because she had the house in joint tenancy before, Mary changed the title to joint tenancy with right of survivorship, with Leonard as the other joint tenant. Unfortunately, Mary passed away two years later. […]

  • By Jackie Jacobs A charitable gift of an interest in a business entity can offer many advantages over a cash gift. Given the vast wealth in this country made up of closely-held business interests (ranging from “mom and pop” shops, to shares in S corporations, C corporations, limited liability corporations, or partnerships) it’s not surprising that questions are asked with increasing frequency about contributions of closely held business interests to […]

  • By Jackie Jacobs Many people mistakenly believe that all donations of appreciated securities are deductible at full fair market value, but only long-term appreciated securities (those held for at least one year and a day) are eligible for a full deduction. For individuals who hold short-term appreciated securities, there is little or no tax difference between donating the stock or selling the stock and donating the proceeds. When appreciated securities […]

  • By Jackie Jacobs High tech entrepreneurs are behind it. Legislators want to get in front of it. Can charitable groups accept it as gifts? The “it” in question is bitcoin, a digital currency in which transactions can be performed without the need for a central bank. Bitcoin is a new currency that was created in 2009 by an unknown person using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. Transactions are made with no […]

  • By Jackie Jacobs When a person dies without a valid Will, he or she has died “intestate.”  Despite the many important and emotional benefits derived from having an up-to-date Will, many wealthy, well-educated, and famous people have died without having valid Wills. The list of those dying intestate must be headed by President Abraham Lincoln. According to Herbert E. Nass’s 1991 book, Wills of the Rich and Famous, Lincoln is […]

  • By Jackie Jacobs A number of years ago, I was told about a local community member who passed away without a will, leaving an estate of over $4 million. It’s not an uncommon story. More than 60% of all Americans die without leaving a will. The relatives of the decedent learned a hard lesson. If you die without a “Last Will and Testament,” your state of residence takes over. This […]

  • By Jackie Jacobs Would you like to continue supporting your favorite charity, synagogue or the Jewish Federation’s annual campaign 100 years from now? You can…and here’s how: simply add up your annual gifts for the year and multiply by 25. Then, establish a gift for that amount through your will or other planned giving device. The “multiply by 25,” formula will assure an annual charitable gift at the same dollar […]

  • By Jackie Jacobs Last month the IRS  announced the adoption of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.  According to the IRS, the document is intended to provide American taxpayers with a better understanding of their rights. The document is called Publication 1, “Your Rights as a Taxpayer.”  It will be sent to millions of taxpayers when they receive IRS notices on issues ranging from audits to collection. The IRS says the Taxpayer […]

  • By Jackie Jacobs Every year, we receive news of new “sunrises” created by the thoughtful planning of donors who include charities in their wills. One such donor was Florlyn Freedman, who made generous arrangements in her will for five local charities upon her death, which occurred two years ago. Mrs. Freedman was a member of the “Silent Generation” that was comprised of individuals born between the two World Wars, many […]

  • The major events in the lives of persons now age 50-70 were the tumultuous 60′s and oil shocks of the 70′s. Baby Boomers grew up in the midst of all of the turmoil of the 60′s and then began their working careers during the ups and downs of the 70′s. Just over a quarter of the total U.S. population are “Baby Boomers,” which refers to the dramatic post–World War II baby […]

  • Texas International Airlines launched the first frequent flyer program in 1979.  Now most airlines have similar loyalty programs that offer members opportunities to redeem accumulated miles for service upgrades, free or discounted car rentals, hotel stays, merchandise, and other products and services. Clearly, frequent flyer miles have beneficial value, but are they tax deductible if given to a charity? Tax advisors have been pondering this question for years. Most feel that […]

  • Among the many findings from the Portrait of Jewish Columbus that were released yesterday, the data will finally draw attention to the needs of poverty-stricken Jews in our community. Fully 21% of our fellow Jews in Columbus fall below 150% of the federal poverty guidelines, based on income and household size. For the general observer, this may be an eye-opener.  But for those who have been working in the trenches […]

  • The Columbus Jewish Foundation’s unrestricted investments performed better last year than most of its peers. The Foundation’s 12 month investment returns exceeded those of Jewish foundations in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, and Miami, where performance ranged from 10.8% to 17.3%. For the 2013 calendar year, the Columbus Jewish Foundation’s net return on its unrestricted investment portfolio was 18.3%.   The five year annualized net return was 14%. Of the five other cities, […]

  • The Columbus Jewish Foundation’s unrestricted investments performed better last year than most of its peers. The Foundation’s 12 month investment returns exceeded those of Jewish foundations in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, and Miami, where performance ranged from 10.8% to 17.3%. For the 2013 calendar year, the Columbus Jewish Foundation’s net return on its unrestricted investment portfolio was 18.3%.   The five year annualized net return was 14%. Of the five other cities, […]

  • It was Will Rogers who once said, “I’m not as interested in return on my principal as I am return of my principal. In this case study, Mr. Braun, an 82-year-old widower who is worried about market volatility, learns how he can transfer appreciated stock from his portfolio to a charity in exchange for a charitable gift annuity that will provide him with a substantial income tax deduction and fixed […]

  • Now may be the perfect time for those interested in making philanthropic gifts to consider the benefits of creating a Charitable Remainder Trust using appreciated securities or other assets (held 12 months or longer). By making such a gift, the donor can avoid/postpone the increased capital gains they would otherwise owe while capturing the stock’s full market value. While outright gifts of appreciated securities have similar tax benefits, the use […]

  • Anyone can change the course of events, especially when they see injustice. That was Gordon Zacks’ mantra.  A founder of the Republican Jewish Coalition and an unofficial adviser to George H.W. Bush, Gordon wrote the book on character, courage and leadership, and how one person can make a difference. He called such events “defining moments.” Every encounter with Gordon was a defining moment. He had the ability to persuade, inspire, […]

  • Shaarei Kodesh is a Conservative congregation  in Boca Raton, Florida.  On its website, it likens itself to the TV series “Cheers,” where everybody knows your name. Unfortunately for Shaarei Kodesh, not everyone did.  Because of that, it could lose a $3 million bequest. According to the Palm Beach Post,  Nathaniel Rosenfeld, who  died in 1997, instructed his two sisters to name which charities should benefit from his estate. The sisters, now also […]

  • If you struggle to understand today’s volatile investment markets or are frustrated by low-to-near-zero interest rates, you might also be second-guessing a host of other financial matters. For charitably- minded individuals who depend on fixed income, charitable gift annuities are an idea that many are taking to heart.  There are eight great reasons why people love them. Fixed payments:  From the moment you create a charitable gift annuity, future payments are […]

  • A friend of mine recently told me about his love affair with Nike, which was his very first stock purchase. He’s kept most of the footwear and apparel company’s shares through thick and thin. Along with Coke and McDonalds, it has become one of the premiere global brands. Nike turned out to be a wonderful investment for him. Anyone lucky (or smart) enough to have acquired Nike stock when the […]

  • It is human nature to put off doing things that we choose not to confront. Each of us has a list of those aggravations, irritants, or nuisance chores that are very easy to postpone. Many can be done just as readily tomorrow, such as straightening out a desk drawer, or making an appointment for our regular checkup with the dentist. Other more important tasks, however, need to be accomplished because the […]

  • Many years ago when Dr. M. was just a budding young surgeon and father, he decided to purchase a life insurance policy on his life “just in case.” At that time, he had two children and a very large mortgage. Therefore, he sought some financial protection should anything happen to himself, since he was the only income earner and his wife stayed at home to raise their children. Consequently, he […]

  • Many years ago when Dr. M was just a budding young surgeon and father, he decided to purchase a life insurance policy on his life “just in case.” At that time, he had two children and a very large mortgage. Therefore, he sought some financial protection should anything happen to himself, since he was the only income earner and his wife stayed at home to raise their children. Consequently, he […]

  • Part 3 of 3 Many years ago when Dr. M was just a budding young surgeon and father, he decided to purchase a life insurance policy on his life “just in case.” At that time, he had two children and a very large mortgage. Therefore, he sought some financial protection should anything happen to himself, since he was the only income earner and his wife stayed at home to raise […]

  • There are five requirements to keep in mind in the creation of a legal will: 1. Legal age and status The first requirement for a valid will is that the person be of legal age in order to write a will. In most states, this means that the person must be age eighteen or older. The age requirement is created by the state legislature to make sure that a person […]

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