Nonprofit Law Matters

Monthly Archives: March 2012

An Ethical Issue for Estate Planning Attorneys Who Sit on Charity Boards — Take Heed!

Posted in Charitable Gift Planning

The Maryland State Bar Association’s Committee on Ethics issued an opinion in 2003 regarding an attorney who served on his church’s “Legacy Committee.”  The attorney asked whether he could prepare estate planning documents free of charge for parishioners who wanted to leave a bequest to the church.  The Ethics Committee found that this arrangement would constitute… Continue Reading

Automatic Excess Benefit Transactions

Posted in IRS, FTB & Attorney General Controversies, Nonprofit Governance & Ethics, Public Charities

Did you know that if a 501(c)(3) public charity or a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization fails to properly substantiate payments that it makes to its insiders as either compensation or reimbursement, those payments may be subject to significant excise taxes?  Under Internal Revenue Code Section 4958, the IRS may impose intermediate sanctions on any “excess… Continue Reading