McDonald Warner - Probate, Elder Law, & Special Needs

Including charitable gifts in an estate plan

Some Arizona residents thinking about the future may want to make charitable giving part of their plans. Many people include donations to charity as part of their annual routines, donating around the holidays or another significant event or volunteering to help a cause they support. One of the most common types of charitable contribution is often made on death as part of a will or other bequest, but some people may be unsure about how they can best make their plans a reality.

Even people of modest means can include charitable giving as part of an estate plan. When making out a will, people can simply direct a bequest to a specific organization. This can also help out other beneficiaries by reducing the estate tax burden for a large estate. Whether a small gift or a large sum, a will can be an excellent place to specify a contribution to an organization. For people with retirement accounts or other investment funds but few close loved ones who need to benefit from those accounts, naming a charity as the payable-on-death beneficiary can also be an easy way to make a valuable gift.

Charitable trusts are another option that people can create to direct their giving as part of their estate. There are a number of different ways that people can benefit from charitable trusts, including tax deductions during their lifetimes as gifts are made to fund the trust. However, the creators of a split-interest trust can still control its assets until they pass away.

By meeting with an estate planning attorney, people can learn about the different options that allow them to pass on wealth to charitable causes they hold dear. Experienced counsel can work to draft key items like trusts, wills, and other documents that can make those plans a reality.

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