A Legacy of Generosity--and Taxes

The January 11, 2015 Omaha World Herald reported that Alice Williamson actively supported numerous charities during her lifetime, giving very generously of both her time and her money.  A most philanthropic woman, Ms. Williamson intended to take steps to preserve at least a part of her estate for charitable purposes, but procrastinated and then died suddenly.
The Omaha World Herald reported that Alice left an estate valued at $32.2 million at her death.  Only 44% of that total, $14 million, remained for her nieces and nephews after the Federal government collected estate taxes and Douglas County, Nebraska collected inheritance taxes.  56% of her wealth ($18.2 million) was paid in the form of “death taxes” instead of to charities.
Her sister was quoted as saying that Alice would have wanted the money to be used for philanthropy, as she had before her death.  “The amount going for taxes is just a tragedy,” said her sister.
Timely and proper estate planning is essential for everyone, no matter if you are a multi-millionaire or a person of modest means. One can only imagine the impact her $18.2 million would have had on those causes near and dear to Alice if the money had gone to charity instead of taxes.    
You have worked hard throughout your life to build wealth and to accumulate valuable assets. Through proper estate planning, you can significantly control the distribution of that wealth. Your attorney, accountant and financial advisors can help determine what is best for you, but you should be able to minimize inheritance and estate taxes while maximizing the amounts that you give to your loved ones and your favorite charitable and philanthropic causes.
The team leader of the Create Your Jewish Legacy organization closest to your heart or I will be happy to work with you and your lawyer, accountant, and/or financial planner to ensure that your philanthropic goals are met.
How wonderful it will be for your family and the Cincinnati Jewish community to benefit from your timely and properly prepared estate plan.


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