A special needs trust is a type of irrevocable legal arrangement established for the benefit of an individual with physical or mental disabilities while at the same time allowing the beneficiary to receive essential needs-based governmental assistance. A parent, grandparent, guardian or a court typically creates a special needs trust, also known as a Third Party trust. Some special needs trusts are set up with assets that the person with disabilities already owns, such as an inheritance or a legal settlement, and are called self-settled trusts, or First Party trusts.
A much-talked-about December 2018 blog post by Jon Tidd, the tax attorney and frequent speaker to planned giving groups, asks whether gifts to charitable remainder trusts will now require a qualified appraisal, even if the gift is funded with cash or publicly traded securities.
Many applications today are smarter than they used to be. You probably think I’m talking about the applications themselves, and while it’s true that today’s applications do a myriad of useful and clever things (PG Calc applications among them), I’m referring to the applications’ built-in intelligence around updates.
The role of the gift officer is becoming increasingly complex. New tax laws and IRS regulations are placing gift officers at risk for crossing a red line that should never be crossed – the line between gift officer and financial or tax advisor. Even though much information may have been shared with them by the donor, gift officers need to know how to provide information to a donor without making assumptions about a donor’s complete financial or tax situation – assumptions that may be wrong and that could result in a donor not realizing the tax benefits they were assured of receiving.
In their January 2019 issue, Wired magazine reported the aggregation and publication of over 2 billion previously hacked unique usernames and passwords. These credentials are being made available to various hacker forums, potentially exposing the private data of a significant fraction of the world’s population. Analysts have determined that most of the stolen credentials represent data that is years old, and so may have already been remediated. However, the leak is still significant for the quantity of data, if not its currency.