Charitable giving comes in many forms. Some people make philanthropic achievements a lifetime goal, while others will make donations periodically throughout their life when they feel passionate about a particular cause. Another way that many people choose to give to charity is to donate at the time of their death.
Incorporating charitable donations in your estate plan is a wonderful way to leave your legacy, but is also a matter affected by many complexities. It is important to include an estate planning attorney in your charitable giving strategy, so they can help you navigate some of the regulations and determine the best way to donate posthumously.
The options for including charitable giving within your estate plan are so varied, and your attorney will help you determine which makes the most sense for you. However, here are a few options that may be available to you:
Giving in your will. Making a charitable contribution through your will is great way to support an organization that you care about. It can also help reduce your estate tax liabilities, which will maximize the final value of your estate for your heirs.
Donate your retirement. Another option to utilize your estate plan for giving is to designate a charity of your choice as the beneficiary on your retirement account. Most charities are exempt from both income and estate taxes, so once your account has been liquidated the charity will receive 100% of your retirement’s value.
Charitable remainder trust. Give a gift that the charity receives upon your death while you or your family continue to enjoy benefits from the asset during your life.
Family foundations. If you have a larger donation, or one that you wish to donate over time, then setting up a family foundation might be a good option for you. You will have control over the framework of the foundation and its charitable efforts while you are alive. After death, your family can carry on the work of the foundation in your honor.
When it comes to charitable giving as part of your estate plan, explore all of your options in order to decide which one is the most beneficial to you, your heirs, and the organizations you wish to support.
Contact Attorney James M. Miskell
Our elder law and estate planning law firm is happy to help you incorporate charitable giving into your estate plan. Contact us today to learn more about our firm and how we can help you design an estate plan that gives you peace of mind.