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Putting Idle Assets to Good Purpose

Posted December 2014

An “active asset” is one that you are using (such as your residence) or one that is generating a return in the form of rent, interest, dividend income, or appreciation. An “idle asset” is property that produces little or no return and which may contribute little to your enjoyment of life. Sometimes it is possible to convert these assets to a stream of income for life by making a charitable gift.

Here are some examples of idle assets:

  • Collections in which you have lost interest (stamps, coins, etc.).
  • An old life insurance policy no longer needed for family protection, with very modest increases in cash value.
  • A vacant lot on which you have been paying property taxes year after year.
  • Saving bonds purchased long ago and possibly now accruing little or no interest.

By making a charitable gift of an item that has been producing little or no benefit and to which you may have been paying little attention, you can increase your cash flow during your retirement years.

If you do not need additional income or if the object is not suitable for a life-income plan, contributing it can still improve your cash situation by generating a charitable deduction that reduces your taxable income. You would also avoid paying tax on any appreciation in value.

Besides these financial benefits, you would be able to support the work of our organization. As with any gift, you may determine the purpose for which it will be used.

If you have an idle asset that you would consider contributing, please call our office. We would meet with you to gather information about the object and discuss gift possibilities. Then we would advise you of our ability to accept the object and pertinent financial information for you to make a decision in consultation with your advisors. An appraisal is normally required to substantiate the charitable deduction that you would be claiming.

 

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