Leaving a philanthropic legacy is no longer an area exclusively reserved for the wealthy.
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.
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.