Charitable Giving for a Young Couple

Charitable Giving for a Young Couple

What would you recommend for a married couple in their late-40s in terms of charitable giving to NMSS? They are both professionals, no children, and are both healthy.


There are lots of ways a healthy couple in their mid 40's could benefit a charity. You mentioned the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) in your question, so I'll assume that they have a loved one suffering from MS. The facts are a bit sketchy so its hard to pin point a specific plan, but here's a few ideas to get them going. We'll also list some common planning tecnhiques that might not work and tell you why as well:

  • Life insurance. Since they are young and healthy they could get a survivorship life insruance that would pay on the second death. If they have NMSS own the policy, and buy a quality permanent policy, each year the value of the policy will increase as an asset of NMSS. They could endow, for a modest annual premium a very substantial gift (in terms of hundreds of thousands). NMSS should own the policy and they should gift each year a premium.
  • A charitable remainder trust (CRT) might be good if they have a highly appreciated large stock or rental real estate property, but at their young age the charitable contribution deduction will be modest.
  • A simple technique is to cherry pick their most appreciated non-retirement investment assets each year and donate those appreciated securities to NMSS. This would give them an income tax deduction equal to the fair value of the stocks, and they would not have to recognize the capital gains tax that they would if the had to sell.
  • If they don't intend to have children, and they have no signficant heirs, they might be a candidate for leaivng a portion of thier estate under their wills to NMSS. They might also consider leaving a remainder interest in their home to NMSS.
  • Gift annuities are unlikely to be a great prospet at this stage as the payout for such a young donor is going to be very low.
  • If they have a friend or loved one with MS, they might be willing to endow a larger gift in honor of that loved one. For example, if they have been making an annual gift of $5,000, you might encourage them to separately build a fund thorugh additoinal gifts over several years of $100,000. That $100,000 gift could pay the $5,000 annual gift forever after their deaths. Sometimes setting a goal for a permanent or endowed gift motivates a donor.
  • The question doesn't indicate their connection to NMSS or their assets (net worth, etc.) so there may be a lot more ideas that could be appropriate (or some of the ideas above may be inappropriate) based on these facts.

Our Consumer Webcasts and Blogs

Subscribe to our email list to receive information on consumer webcasts and blogs, for practical legal information in simple English, delivered to your inbox. For more professional driven information, please visit Shenkman Law to subscribe.

Ad Space