End the Year on a High Note: Check In on Your Estate
The following tips will give you a head start on end-of-year organizing (at least where your estate plan is concerned).
- Review your current will and trusts. Your will and trusts may need to be updated because your family situation or goals changed. Frequent tax law changes, like we saw in 2021, could also impact your opportunities.
- Take inventory of the contents of any safe-deposit box. Make a written record of what is inside and provide a copy to a trusted family member. Take special note of any items that you are holding for someone else.
- Review and update beneficiaries of your life insurance policies and retirement plan assets. Have life changes impacted these beneficiary decisions? Take time to review contingent (backup) designations and provisions.
- Make sure your durable power of attorney for health care and living will are current. Ensure that these medical documents are updated and on file with family members and health care providers. Spend time discussing these important decisions with your family.
- Finish charitable contributions by Dec. 31. As you think about your goals for the year, remember that making year-end gifts to LMU can be a heartwarming experience that also offers you tax benefits. We would be happy to talk to you about your goals.
Tax Savings Expiring!
A key stimulus package is set to expire on Dec. 31. Here are a few last-minute ways you can make a difference at LMU.
- The universal charitable deduction is temporarily upgraded. The new deduction is $300 for single filers and $600 for married couples filing jointly. This is available to taxpayers who take the standard deduction. This tax incentive is available for cash gifts to qualified charities (but not to supporting organizations or donor advised funds).
- The cap on annual contributions for those who itemize increased from 60% to 100% of adjusted gross income for 2021. Any excess contributions available can be carried over to the next five years. (For corporations, the law raised the annual limit from 10% to 25% of taxable income.)
Close 2021 With a Conversation
We would love to be part of your team in meeting your 2021 goals. We can confidentially address your charitable giving interests and the best opportunities for you. Simply contact Cheryl Mott Smith at 310.338.1862 or email@example.com.
Information contained herein was accurate at the time of posting. The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in any examples are for illustrative purposes only. References to tax rates include federal taxes only and are subject to change. State law may further impact your individual results. California residents: Annuities are subject to regulation by the State of California. Payments under such agreements, however, are not protected or otherwise guaranteed by any government agency or the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association. Oklahoma residents: A charitable gift annuity is not regulated by the Oklahoma Insurance Department and is not protected by a guaranty association affiliated with the Oklahoma Insurance Department. South Dakota residents: Charitable gift annuities are not regulated by and are not under the jurisdiction of the South Dakota Division of Insurance.