Life Time Gifts
The simplest legacy is a gift. Donors may give up to $14,000 without having to pay gift tax or file a gift tax return. If married, a spouse can also give $14,000, doubling the tax free amount.
Gifts to pay tuition or medical costs do not count against the $14,000 gift tax exclusion.
A donor can contribute up to $70,000 free of gift tax to 529 College Savings Plans. This amount can be increased by $140,000 if a spouse contributes too.
When appreciated assets are donated to charity, the appreciation escapes capital gains tax, and the donor gets to deduct the full value of the assets if the donor has owned the asset for over a year. But deductions for donations are reduced for higher income donors.
Donors age 70½ and older can transfer up to $100,000 from their IRAs directly to charity.
The standard mileage rate for charitable driving is 14¢ a mile. This is compared to the standard mileage rate of 56¢ per mile for business driving.