Charitable Planning in Maryland

Serving Clients in Laurel, Maryland and the Surrounding Area

At Downs Law Firm, P.C., we encourage and assist the tradition of giving to charitable causes. In addition to the many personal rewards inherent in making a charitable gift, most gifts also provide a current charitable income tax deduction. Some charitable giving strategies also save capital gains taxes, increase income, and provide you, or whomever you designate, with an income for life. Additionally, these types of gifts may provide an estate tax deduction — an important consideration in planning your estate.

Making the Most of Your Charitable Giving in MD

If given the choice between paying taxes (involuntary philanthropy), or making a charitable gift (voluntary philanthropy), most people would choose the latter, because it gives them the benefit of knowing who the money will benefit and how it will be used. The same cannot be said for money paid to the U.S. Treasury. We help clients make charitable gifts and practice good stewardship in the most tax-efficient manner.

There are many different ways to make charitable gifts:

  • A charitable remainder trust or a charitable gift annuity will give you an immediate income tax deduction, a lifetime stream of income, and a waiver of capital gains taxes owed on contributed property.
  • A charitable lead trust creates an income stream to charity for a term of years with the remainder of the trust going to your children without any estate or gift tax consequences.
  • A private foundation offers you the considerable freedom to control amounts given by placing restrictions on how your gifts are used by charities.
  • A donor advised fund allows you to maximize your income tax savings on your regular monthly or weekly contributions to church or charities.

This has been a very general overview of a very complex subject matter. If there are causes or organizations you would like to support, while also maximizing your tax-saving strategies, please contact us to explore your options.

Testimonials

Steve Z.

Erik and Wendy were patient and thorough. Great follow up. Made sure that I considered all aspects of estate planning and provided me with peace of mine for my family when I am gone.

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Michael C.

Probate Court “It went better than expected during a year of dealing with paperwork and going to the Courthouse several times. But in the end it worked out better than I could of hoped for. Certainly Recommend to anyone who needs a Lawyer to stop by, their right beside the Post Office on Main Street in Laurel.”

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Michael M.

Fantastic!! I came very confused after my wife‘s death and in a half hour with Tom I felt like I knew what I needed to do and they have been with me every step of the way. Very pleasant, knowledge and a great help in navigating areas with which I have no experience. Thank you very much!

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Keith B.

Tom is an excellent attorney who really knows his business. He won’t guide you wrong. Our kids grew up together & I’ve known him for decades. I know him form more than just his professional work. He is a very good man and someone you can absolutely trust

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Lynn D. C.

We had the Downs Law Firm set up a trust for us years ago and recently made an appointment to review the information and make some changes. Tom was very helpful in expediting the necessary changes. The office staff was very friendly. We have been very satisfied with the Downs Law Firm. We also used Tom’s services to have a will and other necessary documents drawn up for my Dad. We would recommend the Downs Law Firm to others.

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Cynthia F.

Tom Downs has always provided our family with expert and professional estate planning advice and documents. We highly recommended him to anyone living in the State of Maryland to seek out his advice and services for their estate planning needs.

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