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What is a Bequest?

A charitable bequest is a direct gift made through one’s estate. It’s what people often mean when they talk about leaving money to heirs–or inheriting assets from a loved one. Bequests are one of the most common ways to make a legacy charitable donation, so it’s good to understand them, whether you’re making one in your own legacy plan or talking to donors on behalf of a nonprofit.

How to Talk About Giving When the Economy is Shaky

“Mixed signals” don’t even begin to describe what we’re getting from the economy right now, and sometimes it’s hard to plan for the future. We sat down with Thrivent Financial Advisors Dena DeGroat and James Aman to get their take on the economy, trends they’re seeing, and how to motivate donors when markets are unpredictable.

When Is an Estate Taxable, and Why Does it Matter for Nonprofits?

We’ve had people look us square in the eye and insist that their estate is not taxable. While many estates don’t hit the threshold for federal estate tax, states’ tax rates are all over the board–and individual assets may be taxable even if the overall estate won’t automatically incur tax. Clear as mud? Here we’ll share the ins and outs of when–and how–estates incur tax, and why this question is an important one for nonprofits and donors alike.

What Is Your Net Worth?

Our clients are often shocked–in a good way–when we tally up their assets and estimate the value of their estate. When making legacy planning-related financial decisions, this is step one. Here’s how to figure out your number!

“How to Fund a Trust” with Attorney Jason Heinen

Trusts are essential to legacy planning, yet they can be complex. That’s probably why trust-related questions are some of the most common we get from our clients: what are they, how do they work, and how are they funded?

Foundations and Endowments: What’s the difference, and should your nonprofit have one?

At Apex, we lead people and families through a personalized legacy planning program. We educate them on their charitable giving opportunities and help them visualize the impact they can have on their loved ones and communities. Often, these conversations lead to significant charitable gifts–sometimes the biggest of our clients’ lives. One way that nonprofits can be ready for those gifts is to set up a foundation or endowment. Here’s an overview of when–and how–to do that.

Pros and Cons of a Charitable Trust

Charitable trusts are so powerful, we sometimes call them “give it twice” trusts. FBut while they mean a huge gift to charity and a tax-efficient income stream to loved ones (or you!), they’re not without some caveats. Here are a few reasons to consider–or hold off on–setting up a charitable trust as part of your legacy plan:

Ways to Transfer Wealth and Make An Impact During Life

Here’s what to ask a nonprofit before making a major gift. But if you’ve done your due diligence, giving during life can be an amazing way to make a difference–and you’ll get to witness it! This can also help your heirs understand your values and giving priorities, and inspire them to be more generous themselves. 

Our Favorite Charitable Giving Tools (And Who Should Consider Them)

Our focus is on legacy planning…but we’re always helping donors identify the most effective ways to give charitably–starting now! There are CRUTs and CRATs and DAFs and ILITs and QCDs, and while we’ve just scratched the surface of the many charitable giving tools out there, all the acronyms can seem like alphabet soup. If you’re just wanting an overview, here’s a crash course on the most common giving vehicles…and when they might be a good fit.