Including charitable giving strategies within your estate plan can be an effective way for you and your family to enjoy an income stream during your lives, earn tax savings, and maintain a significant degree of control over assets.

Donor-advised funds are one of many options. A donor-advised fund is a tax-advantaged charitable giving vehicle that offers maximum flexibility to take tax deductions and recommend grants to charitable organizations. By definition, donor-advised funds are public charities under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and contributions to such funds are tax deductible.

Donor-advised funds are particularly family-friendly, as parents and children can consolidate their giving activities through a single fund account. In addition, children can be named as successors to a fund, ensuring the continuation of a family’s giving legacy.

Another significant advantage of a donor-advised fund is its capacity to accept any one of a variety of assets as a charitable contribution. Checks/wire transfers, commercial paper, mutual fund shares, securities, bonds, and restricted stocks all are acceptable assets. In addition, the account has the potential to grow over time, increasing the donor’s giving power.