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Tip of the week

Legal Aid offices closed Mon, Feb 19th in observance of President's Day.

General Office Hours

8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Donors/Planned Giving

LASO thanks our many donors who have contributed to our work over the past year.
Click here to see a list!DONORS


How Can You Help Build a Future for Justice in Oklahoma?

LASO launched an Endowment Campaign in 2013. The LASO Endowment is necessary due to the continued decrease in federal funding, as well as the increase of low-income families in our state. This “perfect storm” has created an urgent need to secure the future of legal services for low-income people in Oklahoma.

Through gifts of cash, wills, bequests, life insurance, and many other ways, you can help leave a legacy of hope for those who may feel hopeless. Through your involvement with this campaign you can continue to help families, beyond your lifetime. Your gift will help to create a strong financial future for civil legal services in Oklahoma, in perpetuity. With more funds, we can serve more families and the underserved.

Please contact Christa Figgins, or (405) 488-6818, in LASO’s Estate Planning Office to discuss how you may participate in building justice in Oklahoma. All information and conversations that take place with LASO’s estate planning office is CONFIDENTIAL. Our office provides this service, free of charge, whether or not you make a gift to Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma.

There are many ways in which you can leave a legacy of hope for the future.

Cash is one of the simplest and most popular ways to make a charitable gift. A gift of cash may be deductible up to 50% of your adjusted gross income. The excess may be carried over as deductions for the next five years.

Naming a charity as a beneficiary in your will or trust can be an effective way to make a gift. Many people would like to do more to advance charitable organizations, but have other responsibilities to consider. A gift in your Will or Trust allows you to give when you no longer need the funds and also lowers your estate taxes.

A gift of appreciated property, such as stock or real estate, can be one of the most advantageous ways of giving. If you have held the property for more than one year, you can avoid capital gains tax and receive a tax deduction for the market value of the property on the date of the gift.

As you review your financial situation, remember that a life insurance policy is a unique way to give. To qualify for a tax deduction, the charity must be named owner and beneficiary. If your policy is paid up, your deduction will equal the policy’s replacement value. If your policy requires on-going premiums, you will receive a deduction for the premiums you pay.

There are a number of methods for including life insurance in a charitable gift plan.

  • Make a gift, an absolute assignment, of a portion or all of an existing life insurance policy, donate a new life insurance policy, or make a cash gift to LASO and have the LASO purchase life insurance on you and pay the annual premiums. Each of these strategies allows you to receive a current income tax deduction, too.
  • Name LASO as the primary or contingent beneficiary of an existing or new life insurance policy. Although this will not yield a current income tax deduction, it will result in a federal estate tax deduction for the full amount of the proceeds payable to the LASO, regardless of policy size. This can be particularly applicable in situations where there is only one logical beneficiary, or where insurance is used to fund a supplemental retirement benefit and the death benefit is of little importance to the insured.
  • Use the dividends, earnings, from existing policy to gift them to LASO. This eliminates out-of-pocket contributions, yet still creates a charitable income deduction as dividends are paid. You can amplify the gift by having these dividends purchase a new policy of which the LASO is the owner and beneficiary. If you wish to leverage your cash donations to LASO the use of life insurance as an excellent meansof accomplishing this goal. By either gifting a policy outright, naming a LASO as beneficiary, or gifting dividends you can provide LASO with a larger sum of money that can provide a lasting legacy.

Retirement plans are different than other assets. At death, retirement plans are exposed to not only estate tax, but also income tax. Unfortunately, the beneficiary of your retirement plan must pay the income tax. If you plan on making a charitable gift, consider making it from your retirement plan to eliminate the income tax.

Possibly you would like to give more during your lifetime, but cannot due to present financial needs. You may be able to achieve your goals and still meet your needs. Through the use of a charitable remainder trust, you can receive income for the rest of your life, receive an income tax deduction, and eliminate capital gains tax. A charitable gift annuity can also provide you with guaranteed income and a valuable tax deduction.

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