End the Year on a High Note: Check In on Your Estate

The following tips will give you a head start on end-of-year organizing (at least where your estate plan is concerned).

  • Review your current will and trusts. Your will and trusts may need to be updated because your family situation or goals changed. Frequent tax law changes, like we saw in 2021, could also impact your opportunities.
  • Take inventory of the contents of any safe-deposit box. Make a written record of what is inside and provide a copy to a trusted family member. Take special note of any items that you are holding for someone else.
  • Review and update beneficiaries of your life insurance policies and retirement plan assets. Have life changes impacted these beneficiary decisions? Take time to review contingent (backup) designations and provisions.
  • Make sure your durable power of attorney for health care and living will are current. Ensure that these medical documents are updated and on file with family members and health care providers. Spend time discussing these important decisions with your family.
  • Finish charitable contributions by Dec. 31. As you think about your goals for the year, remember that making year-end gifts to Wayne State can be a heartwarming experience that also offers you tax benefits. We would be happy to talk to you about your goals.

Tax Savings Expiring!

A key stimulus package is set to expire on Dec. 31. Here are a few last-minute ways you can make a difference at Wayne State.

  1. The universal charitable deduction is temporarily upgraded. The new deduction is $300 for single filers and $600 for married couples filing jointly. This is available to taxpayers who take the standard deduction. This tax incentive is available for cash gifts to qualified charities (but not to supporting organizations or donor advised funds).
  2. The cap on annual contributions for those who itemize increased from 60% to 100% of adjusted gross income for 2021. Any excess contributions available can be carried over to the next five years. (For corporations, the law raised the annual limit from 10% to 25% of taxable income.)

Close 2021 With a Conversation

We would love to be part of your team in meeting your 2021 goals. We can confidentially address your charitable giving interests and the best opportunities for you. Simply contact the Office of Planned Giving at (313) 577-6481 or PlannedGifts@wayne.edu.