Estate Planning and Charitable Giving: A Case Study From Dan Snyder’s Estate

Estate Planning and Charitable Giving

Earlier this week, the estate that once belonged to Dan Snyder, the former owner of Washington’s NFL team, went back on the market. Surprisingly, it was listed for the same price, $34.9 million, as it had been last year when it failed to sell.

Snyder and his wife initially listed the five-bedroom French chateau-style house for $49 million in February 2023. After Snyder sold the Commanders, the price dropped to $34.9 million in August. When the property still didn’t sell, Snyder chose to donate it to the American Cancer Society (ACS). The nonprofit has now put the house back up for sale, with a recent appraisal valuing the property higher than the current listing price. A charity spokesperson informed The Washington Post that the ACS plans to sell the mansion and use the proceeds “to advance our mission of improving the lives of cancer patients and their families.”

How to Include Charitable Giving in Your Estate Plan

Dan Snyder’s decision to donate his estate to charity is a prime example of how estate planning can go beyond distributing assets to family and friends. Incorporating charitable giving into your estate plan can not only support causes you care about but also provide tax benefits. Here’s how you can set up your estate to include charitable gifts:

1. Direct Gifts in Your Will or Trust

You can designate a specific amount of money, a percentage of your estate, or particular assets to be given to a charity in your will or trust. This approach ensures that your wishes are carried out as part of your overall estate plan.

2. Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRTs)

A CRT allows you to provide income to your beneficiaries for a certain period, with the remainder going to a charity of your choice. This can be a beneficial strategy for both providing for your loved ones and supporting a charitable cause.

3. Charitable Lead Trusts (CLTs)

With a CLT, the charity receives income from the trust for a specified period, and the remainder goes to your beneficiaries. This can help reduce the overall tax burden on your estate.

4. Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs)

DAFs allow you to make a charitable contribution, receive an immediate tax deduction, and then recommend grants from the fund over time. This option offers flexibility and control over how and when your donations are made.

5. Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs)

If you are 70½ or older, you can make a QCD from your IRA. This allows you to transfer up to $100,000 annually to a charity without having to pay income taxes on the distribution.

Benefits of Charitable Giving in Estate Planning

  • Tax Advantages: Charitable contributions can reduce estate taxes and provide income tax deductions.
  • Legacy: Establishing a charitable legacy ensures your values and passions continue to make an impact beyond your lifetime.
  • Flexibility: Various options allow you to tailor your charitable giving to suit your financial and personal goals.

Setting Up Your Charitable Estate Plan

At Nickerson Law, we specialize in creating comprehensive estate plans that reflect your values and priorities. If you’re interested in including charitable giving in your estate plan, our experienced attorneys can guide you through the process. We’ll help you explore your options and set up a plan that maximizes the benefits for both your heirs and your chosen charities.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how you can leave a lasting legacy through thoughtful estate planning.

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