Giving to charity through estate planning

People in Charlotte who are thinking about making a plan for their estates may be considering how they can integrate their commitment to charitable giving. Many people set goals for philanthropy during and after their lifetimes and hope to create a family commitment to charitable support. There are a number of reasons why people may want to include gifts to charity as part of their estate. For some, they may wish to reap the tax benefits of this approach while others may want to share part of their wealth with a cause they have cared about for many years.

When considering making an estate plan that includes charitable giving, it is important to select the right cause. When people choose a charity with which they've been involved in the past or which has special personal meaning, it can make the gift a more positive experience. This is true both for the donor as well as his or her loved ones. In addition, people may want to set aside specific assets to contribute to charity. Of course, cash gifts can always be an important way to pass on a legacy.

However, there are other types of valuable gifts that people can make to charity as part of their estate. Gifts of artwork can help the estate realize tax savings while passing on an item of value. Securities can also be gifted to charitable recipients. While some small charities may be unfamiliar with how to handle these gifts, donor-advised funds can help manage donations of unusual assets.

When determining how best to make a charitable gift, an estate planning lawyer may be able to help. In some cases, it might be advantageous to use charitable lead trusts or charitable remainder trusts for tax benefits; in others, a gift in the will may be a good choice.

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