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

Power to the People

You are the archer. What target are you aiming for?

John Lennon and estate planning

By giving us charitable deductions, governments allow some of our tax money to go to the organizations and causes we think are important. We have the control to take back some of our taxes every year! Power to the people, right on.

Mike Munck, Executive Vice President ST. PETER’S HOSPITAL FOUNDATION

The Montana Legislature is in town. Political discourse on the national level is heated. What services will government help fund and who will pay? These issues generate strong feelings. Fortunately, there is a power we all have, regardless of what services government entities fund. It is the power to invest our own wealth— however meager or grand—in the things we value. And we can do it in

ways that take back some of the taxes we pay to governments, and gives it to the organizations and causes we think are important. I’m talking about estate planning—and the charitable part. Things That Matter Family, spiritual belief and practice, food, shelter, clothing, education, health, theater, art, dance, history, animals … the list goes on. Good estate planning encompasses so much.You are shooting an arrow into the future.The arrow is your assets.You are the archer. What target are you aiming for? Life and Taxes Most of us aren’t too worried about taxes after we die. It’s while we’re alive and paying. So it’s important to know how current charitable tax law works.

Your Cake Yes, you can eat it and have it too. We are talking estate planning. A nontaxable estate (currently less than $5 million single, $10 million couple) enjoys no tax benefit by leaving charities in a Will. But if you make that same gift a current gift, you can receive current tax deductions (some of your tax money back).You can also keep the income from that gift—eating your cake—for the rest of your life, that of your spouse or beyond.There are many

different ways to give you, your spouse or heirs that income. Karma—Instant or Regular We are all mortal beings. Our bodies will die. How we live on in this world, in our loved ones, the values we nurtured, the things we cherish, depends on many things.Take aim into the future. Pick your arrows carefully. There are some tax-advantaged arrows. Aim thoughtfully. Release your loves and aspirations smoothly into the future.That’s good estate planning. Mike Munck, Executive Vice President, St. Peter’s Hospital Foundation never met John Lennon. He looked a little like him when he still had hair and does believe in all manner of Karma.

Estate Planning 2011  
Estate Planning 2011  

Estate Planning 2011

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