A retirement plan is one of the best types of assets to transfer to Crossroads UMC following death because of the income tax consequence. Most inherited assets are free from income tax. However, an heir will pay income tax on disbursements from a decedent’s retirement plan such as a profit sharing plan, Section 401(k) plan or IRA. If you are going to make a charitable bequest, it is usually better to transfer assets subject to income tax to a tax-exempt charity – such as Crossroads UMC – and to transfer assets not subject to income tax to heirs.
For a taxable estate, the combination of estate and income taxes will frequently exceed 75 percent of the total amount – even more if the generation skipping transfer taxes are triggered. At a cost to your heirs of only 25 percent of the fair market value of these types of assets, you could apply 100 percent of the assets to Crossroads UMC to accomplish your specific charitable objectives. Estate taxes change, so be sure to consult an accountant.
Of course, married couples can postpone the decision by transferring the assets to the surviving spouse and claiming the marital estate tax deduction. However, since that deduction is not available to unmarried individuals and the second-to-die of married couples, a charitable bequest of pension plan assets might be the best option.
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