Gifts During Life

Assets which have increased in value (and are held for over one year) are beneficial gifting alternatives, since the donor receives a double tax benefit. One can usually deduct the fair market value of the gifted asset, and also avoid a potential capital gain tax. For some individuals, an additional benefit is the removal of the asset from the estate taxation.

  • Appreciated Stock and Securities
    Many individuals have investment assets which are worth more than their original cost. These assets, which include listed securities, mutual funds or closely-held business interests, are excellent candidates for lifetime giving.
  • Real Estate
    Farms, commercial and residential properties and "second homes" have often appreciated in value since they were purchased or inherited. Additionally, building depreciation deductions lower the owner’s cost basis, creating additional tax liabilities when the asset is sold. For these reasons, real estate gifts are often considered by well-advised donors.
  • Personal Property
    Examples of such gifts include automobiles, art, stamp collections and the like. As with real estate and closely-held business interests, there are appraisal requirements for larger gifts of personal property.
  • Life Insurance
    Often, individuals find that they no longer need the protection afforded by an "old" policy and will gift the policy to a charitable organization. Alternatively, one can purchase a new policy and donate it to charity.