Season of Giving: 3 Things to know before including a Charity in your Estate
Leaving part of your estate to a cause that is important to you is often one of the most overlooked parts of estate planning. A lot of people want to give away portions of their estate upon their deaths to charities or would rather receive contributions to a charity than flowers at their funeral service but don’t know how to plan for this ahead of time.
Knowing where and how to best donate can be difficult. Here are a few things that you should consider.
Who Does the Charity Serve?
There are charities that serve any number of issues in society. For instance, there are charities dedicated to medical research, assisting battered women and children, feeding the hungry, education, and almost anything else. So, think about what matters in your life. If there is something that you needed help with at one point in your life, it might be a good idea to donate to a charity that covers one of those issues. This way, more people in a situation similar to you can have a better life.
How Does the Charity Use the Money?
One of the most important things to do is to make sure that the charity that you’re donating to is a reputable charity. Unfortunately, there are a lot of charities that put a very small amount of money donated to them into action, while they have what is considered disproportionate operating costs and salaries. You might also be interested in how much goes to research and how much goes stays in your local community. Make sure that as much as possible is put to good use, and make sure that it’s being used in a way that you approve.
How do I include a Charity in my Estate Plan?
You might wander whether it’s best to set up a trust with the charity directly or include the charity within your estate plan. When you include a charity within your estate plan it is usually at no additional cost and is set up similar to how you include other beneficiaries.