For many people, giving a portion of your estate to a charity is often as important as ensuring that your children and descendants receive appropriate gifts. Even if you have rarely given to charity during your lifetime, you can create an estate plan that will ensure your charitable donation will go to good use. Here are some helpful hints and tips you can use as you develop your charitable gift plan.
Tip 1: Consider your options carefully.
If you have given to various charities throughout your life, you may already know what organization you want to include in your estate plan. On the other hand, if you are new to charitable donations or want to find a different charity, you are faced with an almost endless number of options. It’s good to begin by thinking about what causes or charities you feel most strongly about. You don’t have to find a national or international organization, but can choose other groups such as local organizations, your old school or even newly created charities.
Tip 2: Research your choices carefully.
If you leave a charitable donation, you want to make sure your gift will be put to good use. It is important that once you’ve identified charities to which you will donate that you then investigate them to ensure they are reputable organizations. Many charity watchdog groups suggest that your charity should have no more than 30 to 40 percent of its revenue dedicated towards expenses or overhead.
Tip 3: Start your own.
In some situations, it may be better for you to create your own charitable trust. Though the procedure for doing this is more complicated than simply leaving a gift, it does allow you many more options in choosing how your charitable donation will be used. Talk to your estate planning lawyer for more detailed information.