Benefits of lifetime charitable gifts can outweigh bequests, says Atlantic Trust

Mar 12, 2015, 10:00 ET from Atlantic Trust Private Wealth Management

Aside from achieving tax benefits, lifetime donors can witness the positive impact made possible by their generosity

ATLANTA, March 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Lifetime gifts may carry considerable advantages over charitable bequests, according to Atlantic Trust, the U.S. private wealth management division of CIBC (NYSE: CM) (TSX: CM).

"One interesting aspect of lifetime giving is that you get to see your donation in action, even if you prefer to do so anonymously," says Linda S. Beerman, chief fiduciary officer for Atlantic Trust. "Even the less charitably inclined sometimes view this as a valuable incentive, considering that at least a portion of those funds would otherwise go to taxes."

There is also the prospect of achieving an income tax deduction, in addition to estate tax savings. Generally, those who give cash to public charity, for example, are entitled to an income tax deduction of up to 50 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI) or up to 30 percent of AGI for donations of other appreciated assets that are held for at least 12 months. These deductions can be carried forward for up to five years if they cannot be taken in the year that the gift was made.

Several factors will come into play when designing a giving plan. Donors will not only want to consider the pros and cons, from a tax perspective, of donating various types of property, but also how the gift will be made and when. There are other ways to give besides writing a check. Structured giving vehicles, such as a donor-advised fund, private foundation or charitable remainder trust, may offer the additional benefits of convenience, control and anonymity. Donors can even utilize multiple giving vehicles to maximize their charitable impact.

Gifting real estate or tangible property, such as valuable works of art, are also options, though these donations may carry complications. Timing is also important in choosing a charitable vehicle. A donor's financial profile and tax picture might influence whether to make a gift in a single year or to initiate a multiyear gifting program.

Additional charitable giving, estate planning and wealth management resources are available on Atlantic Trust's Online Resource Center at

The tax information contained herein is general and for informational purposes only. Atlantic Trust does not provide legal or tax advice, and the information contained herein should only be used in consultation with your legal, accounting and tax advisers.

About Atlantic Trust

Atlantic Trust is one of the nation's leading private wealth management firms, offering integrated wealth management for high net worth individuals, families, foundations and endowments. The firm considers clients' financial, trust, estate planning and philanthropic needs in developing customized asset allocation and investment management strategies. Experienced professionals deliver a broad range of solutions, including proprietary investment offerings. We have a robust open architecture platform of traditional and alternative managers. Atlantic Trust operates in 12 full-service locations throughout the U.S. with  $25.9 billion in assets under management (as of October 31, 2014). For more information, visit

About CIBC

CIBC is a leading Canadian-based global financial institution. Through our Retail and Business Banking, Wealth Management and Wholesale Banking businesses, CIBC provides a full range of financial products to individual, small business, commercial, corporate and institutional clients in Canada and around the world. CIBC owns a 41-percent equity interest in American Century Investments®, a major U.S. asset management company, serving financial intermediaries, institutions and individuals, and acquired Atlantic Trust, a premier U.S. private wealth management firm, in January 2014. You can find other news releases and information about CIBC on our corporate website at

SOURCE Atlantic Trust Private Wealth Management