Tag Archive

Legacy

Get a Break on Your Taxes: Contribute to the LightHouse for the Holidays

At LightHouse for the Blind, our teachers are focused on helping students of all ages who are blind or have low vision gain skills and tools for independent living. Beyond that, they help our students build confidence, so they can go out in the world with their white cane (or guide dog) and be active members of society in any way that they desire.

Your contribution helps us provide a range of classes, from cooking without sight to robotics, possible. End of year is a great time to make a charitable donation and receive a deduction in your 2016 taxes.

Support LightHouse for the Blind today and join a passionate community of innovation, mentorship and caring. For 114 years, the LightHouse has been a place where people with low vision or blindness can learn what once seemed impossible. At the LightHouse our students take advantage of life-changing technology, pioneering teaching methods and blind role models.

You can play a critical role in our efforts to improve the lives of children, adults and seniors who are blind. Please donate today!

A reminder for those over 70:

The IRA Rollover allows donors age 70½ and older to make tax-free charitable gifts directly from their Individual Retirement Account (IRA) funds to charitable organizations. Donors may give up to $100,000. In December 2015, Congress passed the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act making the IRA Charitable Rollover a permanent charitable giving incentive.

It’s important  to know that tax rates on appreciated IRAs can be sky-high, but when you donate funds from your IRA none of the donation will be taxed, a particularly-efficient way for donors to help philanthropies.

Please donate today!

You can also make a contribution of any type or learn more about the IRA Rollover by contacting Jennifer Sachs at jsachs@lighthouse-sf.org or 415.694.7333.

Come Have Dinner on Us and Learn Some Estate Planning Techniques that May Benefit You and the LightHouse

Portrait of Michael Bland

You are invited to a LightHouse Legacy Society Event at the new LightHouse building, with special guest presenter Michael Bland. Michael is the principal attorney at Guardian Counsel, PC. and is dedicated to assisting his clients design their family’s estate plans to preserve their personal and financial well-being while planning for the future. Michael is an Eagle Scout and was born and raised in Napa, California.

When: Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Where: the LightHouse Building at 1155 Market Street, Floor 10, San Francisco, 94103
Dinner will be served

Please RSVP to Dagny Brown at 451.694.7311 or dbrown@lighthouse-sf.org.

We want to thank our LightHouse Legacy Society Members for including the LightHouse in their estate plans:

Hank Borenko, Margie Donovan, Joan M. Dove, Robert Ray Foster, Gena Harper and Mike May, Dolores Ippolito, Roger Kallen, Justin Kim, Kuhnle Family Endowment, Jerry Kuns and Theresa Postello, Inez E. Martini, Ann Noble and Goran Muhlert, Robert E. O’Donnell, Alicia Jean Rose, Frederic and Kristine Silva, Richard Stevens and Virginia Behm,  David and Regula Weill, Martin and Rosan Weissman, Jennifer Westbrook, Greg Wong.

An Invitation to a November Workshop on Advanced Estate Planning Techniques

You are invited to a LightHouse Legacy Society Event at the new LightHouse building, with special guest presenter Michael Bland. Michael is the principal attorney at Guardian Counsel, PC. and is dedicated to assisting his clients design their family’s estate plans to preserve their personal and financial well-being while planning for the future. Michael is an Eagle Scout and was born and raised in Napa, California.

When: Wednesday, November 2nd, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Where: the LightHouse Building at 1155 Market Street, Floor 10, San Francisco, 94103.
Dinner will be served.

Please RSVP by October 25th to Dagny Brown at 451.694.7311 or dbrown@lighthouse-sf.org.

 We want to thank our LightHouse Legacy Society Members for including the LightHouse in their estate plans:
Hank Borenko, Margie Donovan, Joan M. Dove, Robert Ray Foster, Gena Harper and Mike May, Dolores Ippolito, Roger Kallen, Justin Kim, Kuhnle Family Endowment, Jerry Kuns and Theresa Postello, Inez E. Martini, Ann Noble and Goran Muhlert, Robert E. O’Donnell, Alicia Jean Rose, Frederic and Kristine Silva, Richard Stevens and Virginia Behm,  David and Regula Weill, Martin and Rosan Weissman, Jennifer Westbrook, Greg Wong.

Donation Spotlight: Other Ways to Give

Photo: LightHouse student Angela Palmer (left) and LightHouse Deaf-Blind Specialist Sook Hee Choi.

Contributing a gift to the LightHouse helps provide unparalleled training and community for people of all ages who are blind. Your support is vital. To make a donation click here.

Another important aspect of LightHouse’s sustainability is Legacy Giving. We ask you to consider naming LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired as a beneficiary of your will or trust. A gift through your estate ensures that your commitment to LightHouse programs for people of all ages who are blind or have low vision will continue beyond your lifetime, and have a lasting impact on LightHouse’s work. For more information on leaving a legacy, click here.

Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, especially those with long-term capital gains, are popular gift assets because they may generate multiple tax benefits. These benefits include a charitable income tax deduction of the stock, bond, or mutual fund’s market value on the date the asset is received by the LightHouse and no capital gains tax on the appreciation. Most stocks are transferred electronically. Talk to your accountant or financial adviser about the benefits such a gift may provide for you.

Have your stocks, bonds, or mutual funds that have depreciated? If these types of assets have gone down in value, you may find there is an advantage to selling the stock, bond or mutual fund, recognizing a loss, and then contributing the cash proceeds of the sale to LightHouse for the Blind. An accountant or financial adviser can help you determine the best option for you.

If you have questions or need our account info to transfer assets, you or your broker can contact us at 415.694.7333 or jsachs@lighthouse-sf.org.

Want to Learn the Basics of How People Plan Their Estate?

Come lunch with an expert, see the new LightHouse Building and what’s happening inside.

Join us for an educational workshop on “Estate Planning 101” and learn about the fundamentals of estate planning in California.

When: Friday, July 15th at 10:30 a.m.
Where: LightHouse for the Blind, 1155 Market Street, 10th Floor, San Francisco, 94103

Our presenter, Betsy Cannon, is an authority on the subject and will lead the discussion. Betsy Cannon is a partner in the firm of Plageman, Lund & Cannon LLP, where she practices in the areas of estate planning, and trust and estate administration. She received her Juris Doctor from Notre Dame Law School, and her Bachelor of Arts in Business and Economics from the University of California at Los Angeles. She is currently a member of the San Francisco Estate Planning Council; the State Bar of California (Estate Planning, Probate & Trust sections); and the American Bar Association (Real Property, Trust & Probate section).  Betsy lives in San Francisco with her husband and their two children.

Please RSVP to Jennifer Sachs, Director of Development, at jsachs@lighthouse-sf.org or 415.694.7333.

Calling all LightHouse Supporters, Students and Community Members: Come to a Legacy Giving Workshop at the New LightHouse

Portrait of Betsy CannonJoin us for an educational workshop on “Estate Planning 101” and learn about the fundamentals of estate planning in California.

When: Friday, July 15th at 10:30 a.m.
Where: LightHouse for the Blind, 1155 Market Street, 10th Floor, San Francisco, California 94103

Our presenter, Betsy Cannon, is an authority on the subject and will lead the discussion. Betsy Cannon is a partner in the firm of Plageman, Lund & Cannon LLP, where she practices in the areas of estate planning, and trust and estate administration. She received her Juris Doctor from Notre Dame Law School, and her Bachelor of Arts in Business and Economics from the University of California at Los Angeles. She is currently a member of the San Francisco Estate Planning Council; the State Bar of California (Estate Planning, Probate & Trust sections); and the American Bar Association (Real Property, Trust & Probate section).  Betsy lives in San Francisco with her husband and their two children.

Please RSVP by June 10th to Jennifer Sachs, Director of Development, at jsachs@lighthouse-sf.org or 415.694.7333.

Contribute to LightHouse’s Campaign for a 21st Century LightHouse

Program and Naming Opportunities at the New LightHouse

Many of you know that the LightHouse is undergoing a campaign to move our San Francisco headquarters to a new Mid-Market location with a larger footprint for expanded programs and located a few feet from the Civic Center BART/Muni station for the best accessibility.

The new building and its design process is the focus of this month’s San Francisco Magazine, in an in-depth and fascinating discussion of how we’ve designed and built the perfect headquarters for our next century.

Why are we building a new LightHouse? Newly-blind neighbors and experienced blind residents will welcome what will surely be the most advanced blindness center in the West. Under one roof we’ll gather advanced tools, build respectful and private spaces for learning, conversation and mentorship, and crown the effort with the capacity to host students, family members and researchers for overnight stays when an immersive and intensive learning experience is optimal.

Twenty people become blind each week in the Greater Bay Area. Each year, a thousand Bay Area neighbors enter their blindness journey tentative, afraid and with a deep need to learn techniques and gain the self-confidence to live life to the fullest. This is our mission; and with your support, we will build a new headquarters to serve blind kids, teens, adults and seniors for the next century of innovative practices impacting the blind community globally.

Contributions to the Campaign for a 21st Century LightHouse will provide tangible benefits for the blind kids to seniors that benefit from the joy and learning of the LightHouse for the next century. To learn more about the campaign, for naming opportunities or how a deferred gift can be used to leave an enduring legacy in you or a loved one’s honor, contact 415-694-7333 or jsachs@lighthouse-sf.org.

New Federal Legislation Permanently Extends Tax-Free Treatment of Rollovers of Annual IRA Distributions to Charity

Joseph Chan

Former LightHouse Board Treasurer Joseph Chan walks using a white cane along a greenery-laden path.

By Gary D. Rothstein, Esq.
The new year brings good news for nonprofits and donors. IRA owners over age 70½ are required to take a minimum distribution annually. Those annual Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) usually generate ordinary income for the IRA participant.

On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act). The PATH Act makes permanent the ability of IRA owners to exclude from their gross income IRA distributions that are made to a charity such as LightHouse (i.e., “rollovers” of distributions). There are certain limitations, however, on the exclusion of IRA distributions:

  • The individual IRA owner must be at least 70½ years of age
  • The maximum amount of IRA distributions that can be excluded per tax year is $100,000
  • The distributions cannot be made to the individual IRA owner first, but must be made from the IRA custodian directly to the charity
  • The distributions must be made to a public charity; not to a private foundation, supporting organization, donor advised fund, charitable gift annuity or charitable remainder trust

The amount of the rollover will not be included in the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income and subjected to income taxation for the year of the rollover. According to http://leicester.countrywidemediation.co.uk/, there is no need to claim a charitable deduction, and even taxpayers who do not itemize deductions on their income tax returns can benefit from the charitable rollover.

If you otherwise are in a position to forego taking the IRA distribution for yourself in a given year, a charitable rollover of a portion or all of the IRA distribution is an effective way to achieve the dual goals of reducing your income tax liability and supporting charities.

Former Treasurer of the LightHouse Board of Directors Joseph Chan told us, “I learned that by contributing to the ‘Campaign to Build a 21st Century LightHouse’ directly from my IRA plan, I can avoid a tax burden while simultaneously attaining my goal of making an impactful gift for the LightHouse. I am so delighted that my gift will be acknowledged in the naming of the Joseph K. Chan Low-Vision Optometry Clinic in the future LightHouse headquarters!”

Gary Rothstein is Of Counsel in the Trust and Estates practice group of the law firm of Weintraub Tobin Chediak Coleman Grodin. Gary’s practice has focused on estate planning, trust administration, and probate matters since 1993. Gary counsels individuals and families with respect to advanced estate planning techniques, such as revocable and irrevocable trusts, charitable giving vehicles, GRAT’s, defective grantor trusts, family limited partnerships, QPRT’s, and life insurance trusts. Gary also represents corporate and individual fiduciaries and beneficiaries in all aspects of trust administration, ranging from initial funding of trusts to representing clients in Probate Court, in connection with disputes between fiduciaries, beneficiaries and creditors. Gary counsels numerous fiduciaries, beneficiaries and creditors through all phases of contested and uncontested probate and trust administration proceedings in Northern and Southern California Probate Courts.

The LightHouse for the Blind does not endorse or recommend any commercial products, processes, or services. Mention of commercial products, processes, or services on LightHouse’s website should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation.

Questions about supporting the LightHouse? Please contact Jennifer Sachs, Director of Development, at 415-694-7333 or jsachs@lighthouse-sf.org.

Planned Giving: Gifts that Give Back

Rebecca DuprasPlease join us for a discussion on how you, as a donor, can leverage your current assets to create an income stream during your lifetime and also leave a gift to support LightHouse – and create a meaningful legacy.

Where: LightHouse San Francisco Headquarters
When: Wednesday, December 9th at 12pm. Complimentary lunch.
Presented by: Rebecca E. Dupras, Esq. of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation
No cost to attend
Please RSVP by December 2nd to Dagny Brown at dbrown@lighthouse-sf.org or 415-694-7335

For the first time ever, the LightHouse is able to offer Charitable Gift Annuities to our community, a chance to receive an income stream and support the LightHouse. Our partners at Silicon Valley Community Foundation are making this possible.

Presenter Rebecca Dupras, Esq. assists individuals and corporate donors, as well as other nonprofits, to craft meaningful philanthropic strategies. She joined Silicon Valley Community Foundation in 2014 as the director of planned giving. She is skilled at working with donors and their professional advisors to craft deferred gifts to meet their philanthropic goals.

What is planned giving?
Any charitable giving other than a simple, immediate gift of money to charity. Often involves tax and legal planning. This workshop will focus on three different types of planned giving. Bequests, which are testamentary gifts left through a donor’s living will/trust. Charitable Gift Annuities are a low-cost way to create a life income stream and benefit LightHouse. And Charitable Remainder Trusts, a customizable way to create a life income stream and benefit LightHouse. This workshop covers the details of each type of giving and help you select your best option.

Perhaps you have experienced LightHouse programs first-hand or are simply a caring and compassionate community member. By making a bequest or other planned gift, you can acknowledge LightHouse for the Blind in a meaningful way and make a lasting difference for the LightHouse and for your own personal legacy.

Want to discuss planned gifts opportunities or notify us of your intentions? Please contact Jennifer Sachs, Director of Development, at 415-694-7333 or jsachs@lighthouse-sf.org.

Why Create an Estate Plan?

I bet you don’t wake up in the morning and wish you could spend the day working with an attorney to develop an estate plan. However creating (or updating) a plan is among the most important things you can do. Estate plans help you:

  • Minimize possible estate taxes and costs.
  • Ensure the property goes exactly where you want it to go and when. If you don’t have a will or living trust, the state will provide a distribution plan for you which may or may not be in accordance with your wishes.
  • Give guidance to be followed in case you cannot make decisions for yourself.
  • Appoint a guardian for any minor children and provide for any special needs your loved ones may have.
  • Specify the type of funeral arrangements you would like.
  • Remember and provide for friends, relatives, and organizations you care about.

By planning now, you also make things easier for your family. How wonderful it is if they know exactly what you want to have happen. The planning you do now is a gift to your loved ones. And it can create a lasting legacy for the LightHouse or Enchanted Hills.

Making a plan and have some questions? Would you like information about ways to include the LightHouse or Enchanted Hills in your estate plan? Contact Jennifer Sachs at 415-694-7333 or jsachs@lighthouse-sf.org.

Save the Date: Our next Planned Giving Workshop will be held on Wednesday, December 9th at 10:30 am. The topic will be Charitable Gift Annuities, a new offering to our donors in LightHouse’s estate planning opportunities. Guest speakers from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation will lead the presentation.