Joliet Alumnus Establishes Charitable Trust
The Joliet Township High School Alumni Association named Gary Lichtenwalter as its 2015 Distinguished Alumnus at the district’s Salute to Service Partnership Recognition event in May. As an alumnus, Mr. Lichtenwalter has established a charitable remainder trust aimed at providing Joliet high school students the opportunity to go to college in Illinois and continue their education.
Mr. Lichtenwalter was born and raised in Joliet, graduating from the high school in 1958, and followed by graduation from Joliet Junior College. He then received a finance degree from the University of Illinois in Champaign. He was president and CEO of Lichtenwalter Insurance and Lichtenwalter Real Estate before retiring and moving to Colorado.
He was the coordinator of his class reunions, including the 50th class reunion in 2008, and he led the class in participating in the district’s Challenge 50 donor program. His classmates raised nearly $14,000 for the district, which is the current record for any reunion class. Because of Mr. Lichtenwalter, scholarships were awarded to high school graduates in 2010 and 2011. In addition, Mr. Lichtenwalter set up a charitable remainder trust at the University of Illinois to help pay for scholarships for graduates of Joliet Township High School and Joliet Junior College who wish to attend any of the three University of Illinois campuses in Champaign, Springfield, or Chicago.
Charitable Remainder Trusts
In Illinois, charitable remainder trusts are governed by 760 ILCS 55, otherwise known as the Charitable Trust Act. Under the law, a charitable trust is defined as a trust where real or personal property is held for charitable purposes. A charitable remainder trust is one where the income goes to the donor, with the remainder left to an operating charity on the death of the life tenant. This type of trust is irrevocable, so the remainder is guaranteed to the nonprofit organization.
In order to qualify as a charitable remainder trust, the remainder must go towards a recognized charitable purpose. Recognized purposes under the Charitable Trust Act include benefitting education, relief from poverty, sickness, or disease, establishing people in life, funding a public building or recreational activities, or the provision of services that lessen the burden of the government.
There are benefits for the creator and beneficiaries of a charitable remainder trust. The trust creator can avoid capital gains taxes if he invests appreciated assets into the trust. In addition, creating a charitable remainder trust also gives the creator a current income tax reduction and removes those assets from the taxable estate. The charities benefitting from the trust know that it is irrevocable and can incorporate the inheritance of the remainder into their strategic plan.
Our Office Can Help
At Orlowsky & Wilson, Ltd. we can help you create and maintain a charitable remainder trust as part of your overall estate plan. Working with clients in Northbrook, Evanston, Skokie, Glenview, Glencoe, and Highland Park call the office or contact us today for a free and private review of your estate planning needs.