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16 INDEPENDENT RECORD n FEBRUARY 27, 2011 D n ESTATE AND FINANCIAL PLANNING

Giving That Lasts More than a Lifetime Do your homework before making a legacy gift David Smith, CEO Helena Family YMCA

When people are hurting, community projects need assistance, or youth need after school programs, you help. Your charitable gift touches those in need today.The charitable organizations you support also touch the future—and the best part is that you can help right here in your local community. Many organizations, such as the YMCA have an international reach. But through bequeaths to local organizations, you can create your local vision for a better world long after your lifetime. We rely on charitable organizations and they rely on us. While many charities receive some support from government agencies, 80 percent of

their funding comes from individuals— people like you who give generously throughout their lives. Part of that generosity can be through a legacy gift. Whether you think of yourself as rich or poor, or somewhere in between, your gift can make a difference. Some people think they must choose between leaving a gift to their family or their favorite charity, however,you can leave money to your family and to your favorite charity. Some charitable gifts may actually save your family money by decreasing inheritance taxes. Many organizations build up various trusts and legacy gifts to help with a building project, provide scholarship endowments, or just assist with ongo-

ing administrative costs. An added benefit is that you can designate, or restrict, its uses. Helena has many worthwhile organizations. If you’re not associated with one, but still want to make a lasting gift, you can give to organizations such as United Way, the Montana Community Foundation, or the Lewis & Clark County Community Foundation.Those organizations review requests from other non-profit organizations, and handle charitable gifts from individuals and businesses. Here are a few things to consider: • Check out their mission statement. Do they support the causes you believe in? • Are they truly a non-profit organization? They should be able to provide you with an IRS “letter of determinationâ€? proving they are a 501(C)

(3) corporation.You may ask to see the organization’s 990.This is the equivalent of a tax return. • Ask how much of the donations are used for the actual purpose stated. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) recommends the charity should spend at least 65 percent of total expenses on program service activities and spend no more than 35 percent of related contributions on fund raising expenses. You can start helping today by making sure you have an up-to-date will (or living trust) that reflects your charitable objectives.Think beyond cash—you can leave stocks, real estate, insurance policies and personal property to charitable organizations. Go visit with the local CEO or board members to hear the stories about what the organizations are doing.

-$&.621085'2 *5$173& Iris H. Basta John H. Grant David L. Jackson Robert M. Murdo Scott M. Svee

Jackson, Murdo & Grant, P.C. was established in 1967. The firm serves a broad range of individual and corporate clients and practices in a wide variety of areas of law, including administrative, banking, business, collections, contracts, estate planning and probate, employment, civil litigation, land use and planning, liquor and gambling, real estate and securities law. 203 N. Ewing Street

Helena, MT 59601

(406) 442-1300

Estate Planning 2011  
Estate Planning 2011  

Estate Planning 2011

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