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Donor Advised Fund and trust question
Old 12-09-2019, 08:30 PM   #1
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Donor Advised Fund and trust question

I searched and found several threads regarding donor advised funds, and saw that a number of you use them. I have a question that didn't seem to be covered in those past threads.

We have most of our non tax qualified assets in a revocable trust. I see (at least at Fidelity) that a DAF can be titled/owned by an individual or a trust. Are there any advantages in having the DAF under our trust? Upon initial examination, it doesn't seem like it to me.
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Old 12-10-2019, 06:09 AM   #2
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I don't see an advantage in the legacy phase, i.e. after you are gone, because you can assign successor advisors now who will have control when you pass. Also, your will or trust can specify a donation to the DAF upon your passing so titling shouldn't matter should you desire to do that.

During the active phase (now), titling in a trust may help linking accounts to easily give contributions with just a few clicks versus a lot of paperwork.

You can give them a call and ask the question too.

Note: my experience is with Vanguard, especially with regard to linking accounts for contributions and also setting up a succession plan. I am also not an expert and do not have a trust. We do have a detailed succession plan set up with the Vanguard Charitable account. Our non-trust account on Vanguard is now linked with Vanguard Charitable and it is almost too easy to donate a contribution this way. (They recently improved this capability.)
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Old 12-13-2019, 10:18 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeWras View Post
I don't see an advantage in the legacy phase, i.e. after you are gone, because you can assign successor advisors now who will have control when you pass. Also, your will or trust can specify a donation to the DAF upon your passing so titling shouldn't matter should you desire to do that.

That was my thought too. I called Fidelity yesterday and the rep also said pretty much the same thing. Thanks for the suggestion of having the trust make a donation to the DAF, it sounds like a good idea.
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Old 12-14-2019, 08:46 PM   #4
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Keep in mind, I believe, that the DAF may have a "name" or "title", but that you (or a Rev Trust) does not "own" the DAF. Once you contribute money to the DAF, the DAF (or, more specifically, the overall fund that owns everyone's DAF) is the owner. When you die, the DAF is not considered a part of your estate. This is because you have already given away the money to the DAF. That is why you get your charitable deduction in the year that you donate the money to the DAF and not when you advise the funds go to a specific charity. Although you do not own the DAF funds, you have the right to Advise to what organization to donate the funds held in the DAF. Hence, Donor Advised Fund.

That being said, you may have the ability to name the DAF, but that only determines the name of the "donor" on the checks going out. Also remember, it would generally not make any difference if you donated (during your lifetime) from an account in your name or from your revocable trust. As has already been mentioned, you can make an additional contribution to the DAF upon your death.
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