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Leaving A Legacy Is A Bit Of Work…

March 17, 2011

Benjamin Franklin knew something about leaving a legacy: when he died in 1790, in his will he left 1,000 pounds to Boston and Philadelphia, to be invested for 200 years. In 1990, his gift had grown to $6.5 million. Few of us are as far-sighted as Franklin. But most of us do want to leave a legacy, either to our children or to our favorite organizations. You simply have to choose the best way to leave money. As my business grew (www.gunwel.com), I would say to my girls (especially while they were in College) “maybe you want to get an accounting degree so you can come into the family business…” Both of them hated numbers and had no desire to work with me especially after one summer (during their college years) when I made each of them work in the office. The only part of that experience that they liked was figuring out where to eat for lunch each day. So much for leaving my legacy to them in the form of the business, they’ll just get cash. LOL

One simple way to leave a legacy: Open a donor-advised charitable gift fund. Here is how it works: You donate money to the gift fund, and give instructions on how the money is to be invested. (You can also give a name to your donor fund). You get your charitable tax deduction in the year that you make the contribution to the fund. You can then distribute your fund’s assets to the charities of your choice. (The charitable gift fund screens the charities to make sure they comply with tax-code requirements. You can’t create the I-Want-A Yacht fund). Your gifts are irrevocable: Once you donate, you can’t take the money back. But you can name successor administrators to manage the fund and its distributions when you’re dead. The successor can name his or her own successor, effectively allowing you to pass control of the fund down through the generations. Some of the biggest charitable gift funds are:

At Gunwel Tax & Bookkeeping Service we would like to help you with these decisions and help you navigate through the sometimes-murky waters of tax matters. We’d love to hear about your legacy or how we can help you with creating a legacy. Give us a call at 212-979-6830 or stop by for a visit. We are open Monday through Friday 8am – 8pm and Saturday’s 8am to 5pm. You work hard for your money, let Gunwel work smart to help you keep it! See you soon.

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