Estate Planning Weekly COVID-19 Update – 05.28.20
This weekly COVID-19 update is brought to you by our Chambliss Estate Planning team. We are sharing articles, legal developments, external resources, and tips for coping during these uncertain times. Each weekly issue will cover various trends of vital interest in the world of estate planning, elder law, and special needs planning. To be added to our email list, please subscribe.
Dear Clients and Friends:
While many of us are working remotely at present, we are also collaborating to implement creative and resourceful solutions to meet the needs of our clients in this uniquely challenging time.
We are doing planning consultations, document signings, care coordination, drafting of documents, and all related work—in sum, all the types of work we usually do. We have generally moved most meetings to either Zoom video conference or audio conference calls. In person document signings at our office are generally being done abiding carefully by social distancing protocols. Moreover, the governors of Tennessee and Georgia have signed executive orders which enable “virtual document signings” for a limited period of time.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can assist you with your elder law, special needs planning, or estate planning needs.
— Dana, Greg, and your Chambliss team
Charitable Giving in the Time of COVID-19
March 20, 2020 – the day taxpayers were granted an automatic filing extension to July 15, 2020; the day the 2020 tax filing season changed dramatically. It was also a wonderful day that gave me a minute to pause, take a deep breath, and be thankful for the many steady blessings I have in my life. These blessings were shining all the more brightly in the midst of the constantly changing environment, and they gave rise to some much-needed reflection on what my priorities would be in the coming days, weeks, and months. My husband and I had a candid conversation with each other in these early days and decided that we felt called to support our favorite local charities and small businesses as much as we could while they were adapting to changes in their business environments.
Our decision was based on our personal priorities, but, as a tax practitioner, I would be remiss if I failed to smile to myself a little bit when Congress, via the CARES Act, provided all taxpayers with charitable giving tax benefits. For taxpayers who don’t itemize deductions on Schedule A, an individual will be able to take an “above the line” deduction of up to $300 for qualified charitable contributions. That means that the $300 directly reduces your taxable income and thus your total tax bill (while also benefiting charity)!
Examples of qualified charitable contributions include:
- Cash donations to 501(c)3 nonprofits – aka public charities
- Cash donations and tithes to churches and religious organizations
- Cash donations to veterans’ organizations
For taxpayers who itemize deductions on Schedule A, 2020 is a wonderful year to make significant cash donations to qualified charitable organizations because amounts up to 100% of annual gross income (AGI) may be deducted. If you are in this category, this adjustment means that you have the possibility of using your charitable contributions to reduce your adjusted gross income to $0 in 2020! In a normal year, charitable contributions are limited to 60% of your AGI. For purposes of the expanded 2020 giving thresholds, qualified charitable organizations do not include donor advised funds or private foundations. If you are inclined to increase your charitable giving in 2020, I would encourage you to reach out to your tax advisor to learn more about the possible tax benefits.
Maximizing Forgiveness of Paycheck Protection Program Loans
Many borrowers that obtained Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans are in the middle of the eight-week covered period and are struggling with determining appropriate expenditures and strategies for maximizing loan forgiveness.
In this webinar, Chambliss attorneys will engage Chambliss clients in a deep dive using recently issued guidance and the PPP loan forgiveness application to provide practical tips for borrowers to achieve the maximum forgiveness possible.
If you are not available to attend tomorrow but are interested in future related webinars, please still register and check the box for future webinars. We’ll be in touch!
Date: May 29, 2020
Time: 11:30 AM – 1 PM
Also Check Out…
Film of ‘Hamilton’ Musical to Be Released Early to Keep Broadway Fans Entertained During Pandemic
Last week, Disney announced that they would be publishing the critically-acclaimed Broadway play ‘Hamilton’ to their Disney Plus streaming service 15 months ahead of schedule as a means of keeping people entertained during quarantined. The film will be available to viewers on July 3.
Pandemic Relief: Retirement Account Owners Do Not Have to Take Required Distributions in 2020
Retirement account owners, many of whose retirement balances have been pummeled by a stock market drop due to the pandemic, do not have to take mandatory withdrawals this year. Click here to read the full article.
Seniors and Adults with Special Needs Who Are Claimed as Dependents Will Not Get Coronavirus Relief Payment
Not everyone will get the relief payment the federal government is sending to help Americans through the economic hard times triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. Among those left out are seniors and adults with special needs who are claimed as dependents.
Yes, You Can Receive Unemployment and Social Security at the Same Time
If you are already receiving Social Security, are you also eligible for full unemployment benefits? Until recently, the answer was not necessarily. Click here to read the full article.
Coping With COVID-19
How Rachel Copes with COVID-19
Rachel and her husband spend time outdoors while social distancing from others.
Our Chambliss team continues to monitor legal developments in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. Please contact Jim Catanzaro, Justin Furrow, or your relationship attorney if you have questions or need additional information.