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How can you integrate charitable giving into your estate plan?

No matter how much wealth you possess, you cannot take any of it to the grave. But you can control what happens to it when you have passed on.

While you prioritize caring for your loved ones, you might also have a heart for service. However, you probably hesitate to pursue your philanthropic passion as part of your estate plan because you might presume it is more trouble than it is worth.

With thoughtful planning, you can simultaneously help make a difference in your family’s lives and in the unfortunate circumstances of people in need even after your passing. 

Adding charity giving to your estate planning

Handing out cash may be a straightforward approach to making charitable contributions. But there are still other means to aid deprived communities. After evaluating your noncash assets, it is paramount that you coordinate with your chosen charity about how you can best meet their needs or wishes.

With the guidance of legal and tax professionals, you may also build the following strategies for how your planned giving can be beneficial to your taxes and income. While Virginia does not have an estate tax, you must consider federal tax returns.

So, you can choose to do the following for your chosen charity:

  • Name them as your beneficiary in your will or trust.
  • Gift them your appreciated stock or real estate – vacation house, and condominium or land properties.
  • Set up a charitable remainder trust to ensure you can still generate income while donating to your preferred causes.

Additionally, you may also opt to establish a private foundation during your lifetime. This way, you will have the liberty to authorize its structure and policies according to your resources.

Since the whole process entails significant decision-making, your lawyer and tax accountant may also advise you to inform your loved ones about your planned giving. You can mitigate or prevent unnecessary disputes in the future altogether by simply making them understand the reasons behind your actions.

Leaving a generous legacy

You have multiple opportunities to leave the world a better place than you found it. Ultimately, it only takes devising appropriate strategies with your estate representative to make the most of what you have while you still can for the homeless, malnourished, illiterate, or disaster- and disease-stricken.