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Planning Charitable Giving Through Wills and Trusts

In planning their estates, many people decide to include some form of charitable giving, for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the person doing the giving has no immediate family to pass her estate onto. In other cases, the person may feel that the organization would make better use of the money than a family member would. Sometimes a person simply doesn’t want their children or relatives to inherit their estate. Some people are deeply involved in a particular organization or cause and wish to further the goals of that cause even after their life has ended. No matter why you are considering charitable giving, an experienced estate planning attorney can determine what method of giving will be most helpful to the cause you have chosen and whether the organization of your choice is tax-exempt.

In some cases, you may leave an organization a piece of property in a will. While this may be well-intentioned, it could have unwanted ramifications. Making a small charity sell a far-away parcel of land or asking an organization to assess the value of your doll collection and then find a way to liquidate it could create a heavy burden. Your estate planning attorney may be able to find alternatives such as having your estate liquidate the property and then give the proceeds to charity.

Perhaps you want your giving to accomplish a particular goal, such as advancing medical research. Rather than giving to one organization that you pick now, your estate planner can help you create a trust. This trust, managed by a trustee of your choice, can make decisions later about which organizations are doing the work that best matches the stated goal of your trust. A trust can also function to manage and grow your assets over time while continuing to make payments to the causes or organizations you have chosen.

To learn more about drafting a will or creating a trust to continue your legacy of philanthropy, contact an experienced Florida estate planning attorney at the Charles Law Offices.

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