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Navigating the Maze of Charitable Giving and Trusts with Melissa Wolf

Melissa Wolf, CPA joined Baden Gage & Schroeder, LLC in 2012 with over seven years of tax experience specializing in gift, trust and estate planning. She directs tax engagements for clients with personal income, fiduciary income and gift tax service needs. Melissa has extensive experience in assisting clients with the formulation of retirement and estate plans.

Melissa joins me for a powerful conversation spanning various topics, from Melissa’s diverse journey to becoming a CPA, to nuanced aspects of charitable giving, donor-advised funds, and the utilization of various trusts. We discuss the mechanics of revocable and irrevocable trusts, as well as family and personal residence trusts, and how they can be effectively used in estate planning. Indiana’s unique charitable credits, gift tax return protocols, and strategies to maximize tax benefits for charitable donations were also highlighted. This conversation shines a light on the legalities of gifting and the importance of collaboration among financial advisors, accountants, and attorneys for optimum planning.

This week on The Owner’s Corner:

  • How to use donor advised funds for charitable giving.
  • What is a revocable trust?
  • How long will a family trust last?
  • What if the beneficiary is not ready to handle the assets?
  • How to use a trust in estate planning?
  • The purpose of the gift tax return.

Our Favorite Quotes:

  • “So one that I’ve seen that I really do like is matching their earned income. Yes, a lot of times when someone’s setting up a trust, they want to make sure there’s still a work ethic out there for the kids and the grandkids. So one that I love is matching their earned income or matching two times their earned income. That’s a great one.” – Melissa Wolf
  • “We review all of our beneficiaries every year with each client, to try to make sure along with their estate plan that everything’s still aligning, because things do change, circumstances change.” – Seth Whicker
  • “You would want to put something in that is going to grow, not something that already has grown. You don’t want to put your lake home that already has $400,000 for the appreciation because you’re not gonna get a step up on your basis.” – Melissa Wolf

Connect with Melissa Wolf:

About SYM Financial and The Owner’s Corner Podcast

The Owner’s Corner is a show for business owners. In each episode, host and financial planner Seth Whicker sits down with business owners and the professionals that serve them to talk about what it takes to build a business. Our guests come from many industries and walks of life to share their biggest wins, mistakes made along the way, and their thinking about the all-important exit planning.

Email Seth at swhicker@sym.com with questions, comments, and to schedule a one-on-one conversation.

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Disclosure: This material is not an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any product and does not constitute as investment, legal, or tax advice and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a professional legal or tax advisor. The opinions expressed herein are those of SYM and are subject to change without notice. SYM recommends you engage your CPA/tax preparer to for tax strategies specific to your circumstances. Certain links above are to third-party sites and are not affiliated with SYM Financial Corporation (“SYM”). SYM is an independent investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. More information about SYM, including our investment strategies, fees and objectives can be found in our ADV Part 2, which is available upon request.

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