Financial Planning Q 'n A

I heard that there are creative ways to contribute to charities

Charitable giving has grown significantly in recent years. Gifts to charities can be made in cash, in-kind, during one’s life or after one is deceased. Tax consequences are different for different types of contributions. Some of the more or less common methods to contribute to charities are: cash, art, shares, real estate, life insurance policies, annuities and remainder trusts, cultural property and ecologically sensitive land. Donations of publicly traded securities are given preferential treatment in terms of any accrued gains. In any normal year, you can claim donations up to 75% of your income. In the year of death and the preceding year, you can claim donations up to 100% of your income. Unlike regular years, any donations not claimable in the year of death can be carried back. Many larger charities have giving programs to suit your desires and abilities. If you are considering donating larger amounts of money at present or considering a bequest in your will, you should discuss your wishes with your accountant, lawyer and beneficiary.