Tax Uncertainty Hampers Giving

from The New York Times:

Charities Wrestle With Tax Uncertainty

A growing number of charities are persuading donors to create a little-known kind of endowment as the troubled economy and this year’s hiatus from the estate tax create problems for charities that depend on major lifetime gifts and on bequests.

Charities report that executors of some estates are showing reluctance to hand over bequests until next year, while others say they are in negotiations or even litigation over planned gifts from people who died this year without adjusting their wills to take into account the one-year suspension of the estate tax.

Meanwhile, some donors are deferring their annual gifts to next year, professional fund-raisers said, because top income tax rates may be higher, lowering the net cost of charitable gifts.