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For many people in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., charitable giving is a way of life. By giving to charity, you will be able to support the activities of a worthwhile organization for years to come. If you are a donor, considerations for charitable giving may be an important part of your estate plan. It is critically important that you structure your estate plan properly so that your resources can provide the maximum benefit to your family and to causes that are important to you.
Charitable Giving: Understanding Your Options
Ultimately, the best estate planning method to donate to charity will depend entirely on your individual circumstances. Many different factors will need to be reviewed by your estate planning attorney, including the type of assets you possess, the type of organization that you are supporting, and how the rest of your estate plan is structured. For some basic perspective, some of the most popular options for leaving charitable bequests include:
- Giving a lump sum payment: If you want to leave money directly to a charity, your best option may be to use your will. This is an easy method that can be used if you want to grant one lump sum payment to a beneficiary of your choice.
- Gifting assets: If you are looking to leave assets to a charity, whether real estate or a stock portfolio, things can be a little more complicated. You do not want to accidentally leave the charity with tax problems or tilting issues. Fortunately, an estate planning attorney can help you plan ahead so that you are able to pass on any of your assets on without trouble.
- Charitable Trusts: You may choose to use one of the common charitable giving trusts to leave your gift. Both Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRTs) and Charitable Lead Trusts (CLTs) are frequently used as estate planning tools in this circumstances. These trusts offer several key benefits, including certain tax advantages. The trust that makes the most sense for your particular situation will depend on your goals. For example, a CRT easily lets you leave some money to a relative while paying the interest to a charity. Alternatively, a CLT lets you structure a monthly or annual annuity payment to a charity of your choice.
- Starting a family foundation: Finally, in some cases, you may wish to start your own personal or family foundation for a charity. Family foundations can be useful in a lot of different situations. For those who are giving a large amount of assets and would like to have some involvement with the charity during their lifetime, a family foundation may be the best option available.
Our Estate Planning Team Can Help
At Kamerow Law Firm, PLLC, our dedicated estate planning attorneys have more than twenty-five years of experience offering our clients cost-effective legal services. We are located in Alexandria and proudly serve clients throughout the Washington, D.C. metro region. Please do not hesitate to call our office today at (703) 370-8088 to schedule your free initial consultation.