Charitable Giving Through Your Will Or Trust
Many people have causes they feel adamantly about or special interest groups and nonprofits they support. If charitable giving plays an important role in your life, you may want to include it as part of your estate planning as well. Our Tampa estate planning attorney knows how to provide for others as part of your will or trust.
Including Charitable Donations In A Will Or Trust
Wills and trusts are two of the most important types of estate planning documents. They dictate your final wishes, designate beneficiaries of your estate, and determine how property and assets are distributed among them.
A will acts as a guide in Hillsborough County Probate Court proceedings, instructing the court on how distributions are made. A trust, in contract, avoids probate court proceedings completely and relies on a trustee to make distributions on your behalf. In either case, in addition to any property and assets you wish to leave to family or friends, you may also want to include charitable donations. Among the different types of beneficiaries include:
- Social service nonprofits, such as animal shelters and groups that provide for children or others less fortunate in your community;
- Art foundations, such as those benefiting museums or specific performing arts groups;
- Educational foundations, such as your alma mater;
- Medical foundations, such as those that conduct research or provide care to particular types of patients.
Using A Will Or Trust For Charitable Giving
When choosing a beneficiary for this type of charitable giving, commonly referred to as a bequest, it is important to check background information first. Charity Navigator is a useful tool to determine whether a non-profit is legitimate and how effectively it operates. If you are considering an educational foundation or other groups, you can request copies of financial statements and other documents explaining how your gift can be used and the impact it is likely to have.
In determining whether to use a will or trust in charitable giving, consider the following factors:
- A will is better suited for lump sum payments and one-time gifts of property, such as a vehicle or household items.
- A trust is better suited for ongoing gifts, such as providing monthly support. It also allows you to designate someone you trust to administer the gift and ensure that it achieves the greatest amount of good.
In either case, charitable giving through a will or trust can help you support people and groups you feel passionate about. With a trust, there is also the added feature of being able to transfer ownership interest in property and assets during your lifetime, which can help in Medicaid planning and other financial goals.
Request A Consultation With Our Experienced Tampa Estate Planning Attorney
Charitable giving can play an important role in your life. At Strategic Counsel Law Group, L.C., we can help ensure the recipients of your generosity are provided for in the future. To discuss your options in terms of charitable giving, call or contact our office online and request a consultation with our Tampa estate planning attorney today.