Charitable Giving Lawyers

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What is Charitable Giving?

Charitable giving is the giving of wealth to a charitable cause. Charitable giving can be done both in life and in death, most commonly via a will or trust. Charitable giving serves the dual purposes of helping a charitable cause and giving the donor and their heirs a significant tax break.

Charitable Trusts

A charitable trust is like any other trust - it is a property interest held by one person for the benefit of another. The only difference between a charitable trust and other types of trusts is that a charitable trust is always irrevocable. Once you establish a charitable trust you cannot reclaim your property interest. The most common type of charitable trust is a charitable remainder trust.

How Does a Charitable Remainder Trust Work?

Establishing a charitable remainder trust is a relatively simple thing to do. The following is a general guideline of how a charitable remainder trust functions:

Advantages of a Charitable Trust

There are several tax advantages to creating a charitable trust:

Tax Advantages of Gifts

Giving gifts to your loved ones while you're alive has significant tax advantages when compared to giving gifts through a will or trust. For example, an unlimited number of $11,000 gifts of cash or property each year can be given tax-free to anyone. Also, as long as your spouse is a U.S. citizen, all gifts are tax-free.

Do I Need an Attorney for my Charitable Giving Matter?

You should always confer with a lawyer to plan the distribution of your estate. Lawyers understand the tax implications of estate planning, and will guide you through the difficulties associated with drafting wills and trusts. A lawyer will also help explain charitable giving, and how best to draft charitable trusts.

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Last Modified: 11-28-2011 04:44 PM PST

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