Leaving Your Estate to Charity

Thursday, November 15th, 2018, 9:01 am

If you’d like to leave your estate to charity, you may have a number of different questions about how that’s done. It’s not quite as simple as leaving your estate to your heirs, and there are different options for you to consider. Fortunately, with the help of the right legal expert, charitable giving is actually not that difficult. Here are a few things you need to consider about leaving your estate to charity before you sit down with your lawyer to draw up your will.

How Do You Want to Pass on Your Estate?

There are a few different ways you can give your estate to charity. Some people prefer to give a flat amount of money or a percentage of their overall estate to the charity of their choice. Others leave what’s called a residuary gift. This means the charity gets what remains of the estate’s assets after the heirs receive their share.

It’s also possible to make specific gift donations of property, vehicles, furniture, and other items rather than money. If you have an art collection, for example, you may want to leave it to a specific charity organization to sell for funds if you know your heirs have no interest in it.

What Can You Give?

You can leave many different things to charity, although it’s usually a good idea to find out if the charity of your choice has need of certain things before you write up your will. Many people leave money, but others may leave their property, vehicles, machinery, investments, or even the funds paid out by a life insurance policy.

Leaving your estate to charity also isn’t an all-or-nothing gift. You can choose what you leave to the charity. You can even make your gifts contingent on certain conditions. For example, if your spouse dies first, certain parts of your estate may go to the charity. However, if they are still living, then your spouse would receive those assets.

The Paperwork Involved

In some cases, leaving your gift to charity through your will is fine. In other cases, though, you may need to set up a trust to administer your gift. It all depends on the type of gift you’re leaving and what stipulations, if any, you want to put on its use.

The legal experts here at Michael F. Kanzer & Associates can assist you in leaving your estate to charity. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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Category: Estate Planning, Uncategorized


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