Estate Planning

Pen on paper

You’ve reached a point in life where you want to create the best financial plan for you and your family, and you’ve decided that charitable giving needs to be an important part of that plan. Regardless of what brought you to this point, the question is likely the same: “What choices are available to me for achieving my personal and financial goals for charitable giving?” You want to make the best decisions with the options currently available.

We can help. There are some great choices for you to select from; here are some of them.

Private Foundations

A private foundation is a legal entity set up by an individual, family, or group of individuals, for a specific charitable purpose. Private foundations can be organized either as corporations or as trusts. You can appoint yourself, as well as family members or friends, to sit on the foundation’s governing board. A private foundation is an excellent way to establish a legacy and still maintain control.

Charitable Remainder Trusts

A charitable remainder trust is an irrevocable trust that makes annual or more frequent payments to you, typically until you die. What remains in the trust then passes to a qualified charity of your choice. Charitable remainder trusts are powerful estate planning tools that may enable you to reduce your federal and state income tax liability as well as potential estate taxes.

Charitable Gift Annuities

In a charitable gift annuity, you make a gift to charity in exchange for a guaranteed income for life. This is very similar to buying an annuity in the commercial marketplace, except that you get an immediate charitable deduction equal to the excess of what you paid over what the annuity is worth, based on IRS tables.

Why should you choose Anderson ZurMuehlen to help you plan your charitable giving?

We’ve helped plan numerous gifts to charitable trusts and charitable gift annuities. We bring to that process a comprehensive understanding of the tax law requirements associated with such gifts.

We have a depth of experience assisting private foundations that you’re unlikely to find elsewhere. Currently, we prepare annual tax returns (Form 990-PF) and assist with the ongoing administration of nearly 50 different foundations across Montana, with assets totaling over $200,000,000.

So what does our expertise with charitable trusts, charitable gift annuities, and private foundations mean to you?

  •   It means that for us, assisting individuals with their charitable giving is a specialty, not a sideline.
  •   It means we’ve already developed the resources and have the expertise needed to answer your toughest questions.
  •   It means better value for your dollar. Our experience translates into greater efficiency in the services we provide.
  •  It means peace of mind, because you know we’ll get it right.
Montana Qualified Endowment Credit

Montana also offers a tax credit for gifts to qualified endowment funds.  This credit can substantially leverage your charitable giving dollars.  Businesses are eligible to claim this credit. We have worked extensively with this credit.


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Pam Guschausky
Pam Guschausky, CPA, Shareholder

Please contact Pam Guschausky, Shareholder, at 406.727.0888 when you’re ready to add one of these options to your financial planning process.