Jim and Linda Lee are well known among the Northern Star Council Scouting community for their belief in Scouting and the experiential learning opportunities it provides for young people. As a teacher, kids and education have always been "number one" for Linda. Jim was a Council board member for 33 years and was recently named an Honorary Life Member. Planned giving was an easy decision for the couple, as they had provided for their children in their estate plans and still had remaining resources. They had a desire to continue to support their favorite non-profits long after they were involved. They chose two ways of doing this: through the creation of a charitable remainder trust and by naming Northern Star Council as the beneficiary of a portion of an IRA.
Jim: We wanted to continue our lifestyle while we are here but we realized our two heirs didn't each need half of everything we have accumulated. We really like remainder trusts for that reason. We are getting 5% payout from one and 6% from another every year. It's such an easy sell when you talk about leaving something when you are gone, perpetuating your annual gift. The trust will pay a reasonable return every year, much better than the earnings you can get at the bank. The process involved an estate planning attorney and our investment advisor. But, it was far easier than I thought. All Linda and I had to decide were the beneficiaries and the amount. We receive nice current earnings from it, a tax deduction in the year when the trusts are set up and the satisfaction of funding an organization for which we have a passion.
IRAs require the taxpayer to take taxable distributions every year after a certain age. Because we named the Council as beneficiary of a portion of an IRA, that portion will be removed from our taxable estate, and transferred tax free to the Scouts when we pass.
Linda: Through a family foundation established a few years ago, we like that we have been able to get our children involved in philanthropy. We also like the idea of replacing our annual gift when we are not here to give it. The math is easy: think about doing 20 times your annual gift as a planned gift. It's the gift that keeps on giving!