Tags: Money & finances Estate planning Financial advice

Many people have discovered that there is nothing more satisfying than giving back to the community, and contemporary philanthropists have many options when it comes to dipping their toes into the water of charitable giving. 

‘Structured giving’ provides significantly more control over charitable contributions and how they benefit chosen beneficiaries and projects. 

During a person’s lifetime, a charitable foundation can be established with an initial donation of $20,000 into the Australian Unity Trustees Foundation. This initial donation establishes a personally named sub-fund, which can distribute finds to your preferred charity. 

Older woman laughing at lunch table with man drinking glass of wine

The Australian Unity Trustees Foundation provides you and your family the opportunity to be actively involved in its direction for many years and across multiple generations. 

All donations made to your named sub-fund are tax deductive and the deduction can be spread over five years. Funds generated are exempt from income tax and franking credits can be reclaimed on Australian dividends. 

Similarly, a private ancillary fund (PAF) can be established for an initial donation of $500,000 to establish a perpetual legacy during your lifetime. 

Australian Unity Trustees will manage all administration, compliance and governance requirements and work with you regarding your investment strategy. A PAF also allows tax deductions to be obtained from donations, which can be spread over five years. 

Again, funds generated are exempt from income tax and franking credits can be reclaimed for Australian dividends. 

It is extremely common for people to include charitable giving within their Will. Often, it will be a substantial sum directly to a charitable organisation important to the Will maker. A direct gift can assist the charitable organisation immensely at that point in time, however a testamentary charitable trust (TCT) allows donations to continue each year. 

Any decisions to incorporate structured giving into your estate plan should be done in consultation with your estate planning lawyer. There are significant benefits to using these strategies to fulfil not only your charitable intentions but also tax minimisation and effective financial planning. 

Ultimately, the right philanthropic vehicle for you will depend on your individual circumstances. Establishing structured giving during your lifetime or as part of your estate plan provides you with a wonderful sense of fulfilment and intergenerational connection. 

It is often in a person’s Will that a lasting legacy can be truly established. 

Disclaimer: Any advice in this document is general advice only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. You should obtain financial advice relevant to your circumstances before making investment decisions. Where a particular financial product is mentioned you should consider the Product Disclosure Statement before making any decisions in relation to the product. Whilst every reasonable care has been taken in distributing this article, Australian Unity Personal Financial Services Ltd does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information contained within it. Any views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not represent the views of Australian Unity Personal Financial Services Ltd. Australian Unity Personal Financial Services Ltd does not guarantee any particular outcome or future performance. Taxation Information in this document should not be relied upon without seeking specialist advice from a tax professional. Australian Unity Personal Financial Services Ltd ABN 26 098 725 145, AFSL & Australian Credit Licence No. 234459.