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Intergenerational Transfer of Wealth More Than Just Cash

(April 26, 2004) Nearly everyone in the charitable sector has heard about (and is eagerly anticipating) the intergenerational transfer of wealth estimated in the tens of trillions of dollars. While researchers at the Social Welfare Research Institute (SWRI) predict that $444 billion of that transfer will be given to charities, much of that amount will be in the form of non-cash gifts, according to a recent article in The Nonprofit Times Weekly Update.

Increasingly, one of the most popular types of non-cash contributions are gifts of real estate, primarily because the value of the real estate tends to increase through a donor's lifetime. Gifts of art are also becoming more popular, as are contributions of appreciated securities and charitable gift annuities.

According to the article, many gift planners are now developing new solicitation and giving programs (especially planned giving) directed at the elderly population. The U.S. Census Bureau has predicted that by 2050, more than one million Americans will be at least 100 years old. In comparison, they were only 37,000 Americans who had hit the century mark in the year 1900.

Improved technology and programs have allowed researchers at SWRI to make their estimates about the intergenerational transfer of wealth more precise and accurate. For example, according to researcher John Havens, those individuals born between 1906 and 1925 will transfer an estimated $3.5 trillion, and approximately $400 billion of that will be directed towards charity.

To read the article, please refer to the online edition

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