Private Family Foundations

Years ago, Vance Packard’s best-selling book, “The Hidden Persuaders,” delved into the subconscious reasons behind people’s product choices, including life insurance.

Packard cited a study by psychologist Edward Weiss, revealing that a strong motivator for life insurance purchase is the desire for immortality through the continuation of influence, rather than the fear of physical death.

This concept extends to charitable bequests and endowments as a means for individuals to perpetuate their influence beyond death. The desire for immortality, a natural human inclination, can be satisfied through avenues other than traditional life insurance. While establishing Private Family Foundations may seem attractive, it involves significant costs and restrictions.

The Public/Private Solution presents a more cost-effective alternative. Tying in with a public community foundation allows individuals to operate a quasi “private foundation” within the larger community foundation framework. The Tax Act of 1969 led many Private Family Foundations to close or align with public community foundations due to onerous regulations.

The “Donor Advised Fund” option, available in most public community foundations, provides greater benefits than a private foundation with increased cost-effectiveness. This option allows individuals to create an account in their name or family’s name, resembling the emotional and psychological benefits of a Private Family Foundation. While there are limitations on control, suggestions for disbursements are usually honored. After the individual’s death, family members can continue advising on disbursements, with the community foundation handling ongoing administration.

In essence, while true immortality may be unattainable, setting up a Donor Advised Fund through a community foundation offers a compelling alternative to achieve lasting influence.

Although the information has been gathered from sources believed to be reliable, it cannot be guaranteed. Federal tax laws are complex and subject to change. This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax or legal advice. Neither Feliciano Financial Group, nor Lion Street Financial, LLC, offer tax or legal advice. As with all matters of a tax or legal nature, you should consult with your tax or legal counsel for advice.

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