Charitable Giving: ‘Tis the season…to call your estate planner
Around this time of year many people are thinking of gifts they are going to give to their friends and family. However, many people also think about those less fortunate than themselves and give to charity at this time of year. Some people even start thinking about using their maximum tax-free gift amounts prior to the end of the tax year. Your friendly neighborhood estate planner can help with all of your charitable giving needs.
There are simple means by which to give to a charity, and more complex processes. For example, you can simply name a charity as a beneficiary to your IRA or life insurance policy, or for larger gifts you can create a “Charitable Remainder Trust“. This trust allows the owner (or other named beneficiaries) to benefit from the proceeds during his or her lifetime (or for another stated period of time), and upon the death of the owner (or end of a stated period of time) a charity receives the benefits.
If you are concerned about how to know which charities are legitimate, which have the most need, or which might serve areas that you wish to help, your estate planner can help you. Estate planners are often aware of the charities or foundations in the local communities for this exact reason. Many estate planners serve on the boards of the local charities and foundations and assist in the budgeting and other legal needs of the charities or foundations.
These are merely a few options available to anyone looking to make a larger or long term donation to charity. Your estate planner can help with making the donations, and can also give you ideas of which charities may be in the most need, or will serve the interests that you are most passionate about.