Creating a family foundation is yet another way to include charitable gifting in your estate plan. This option, however, if best used when you have considerable assets to gift and the time to run the foundation once it is established. The benefits of using a foundation as your charitable gifting vehicle are numerous though, starting with the amount of control you will retain over how your gifts are used. In addition, creating a charitable foundation makes it much easier to involve your children … [Read more...] about What is a family foundation?
Another option for making charitable gifts within your estate plan is to use a donor advised fund or annuity. A donor advised fund works by first transferring gifted assets into the fund. Although you will no longer own the assets, you will be able to direct how the funds are used. If you gift to an annuity, you will also be able to choose the beneficiary who will receive the benefits from the annuity. … [Read more...] about Should I use a donor advised fund for my philanthropy?
The Settlor (creator) of any trust appoints the Trustee. As the Settlor, you may anyone you choose to be the Trustee; however, given the complex nature of a charitable lead or remainder trust you may wish to consider appointing a professional Trustee. One of the most common mistakes settlor’s make is appointing a family member or close friend as their Trustee without actually considering whether or not the individual is well suited for the position. Given the duties and responsibilities of a … [Read more...] about How do I choose a Trustee for my charitable trust?
A charitable lead trust works just like a charitable remainder trust in reverse. In other words, assets from the trust are distributed to at least one charitable beneficiary for a specified period of time first. At the end of that time period, the assets remaining in the trust are distributed to at least one non-charitable beneficiary. Assuming you made a gift of $2 million to a charitable lead trust, the trust terms might direct yearly distributions in the amount of $50,000 to be made to your … [Read more...] about What is a charitable lead trust?
In a charitable remainder trust assets are first distributed to at least one non-charitable beneficiary for a specified period of time with the remainder assets being distributed to at least one charitable beneficiary at the end of the time period. For example, imagine that you established a charitable remainder trust and transferred $1 million into the trust. The trust terms might provide for distributions of $20,000 to each of your four children for ten years. After ten years, the assets … [Read more...] about What is a charitable remainder trust?
Yes. Many people use a trust to make charitable gifts within their estate plan because of the numerous advantages a charitable trust offers. For instance, you have the ability to retain a significant amount of control over how your designated charity uses the assets you gift through the trust terms you create as the Settlor of the trust. In addition, when you create a trust you choose a Trustee who is responsible for managing the trust and protecting the trust assets, offering additional … [Read more...] about Is there a better option?
You can make charitable gifts in your Will; however, there are a number of drawbacks to using this method for anything but a small, one time gift. For most people, the number one disadvantage to making charitable gifts in a Will is that doing so does not allow you to retain any control over how the gift is used by the beneficiary. Typically, when a gift is made in your Will the funds or assets gifted become the property of the recipient with no strings attached. In addition, if you wish to make … [Read more...] about Can I use my Last Will and Testament to make charitable gifts?
Trusts can help further a wide range of estate planning goals which is why trusts are so often found in an estate plan. Among the numerous and varied estate planning goals that can be furthered using a trust are: Probate avoidance Pet planning Long term care benefit planning Asset protection Incapacity planning Special needs planning Protecting the inheritance of a minor child Charitable gifting Tax avoidance Funeral planning … [Read more...] about What other purposes might a trust serve in my estate plan?
People sometimes choose to execute a Last Will and Testament as their initial estate plan. As assets grow, however, the option to switch to a trust as the primary distribution method is often the wise move. Whether you want to use a Will or a trust to distribute your estate is something that can truly only be decided after consulting with an experienced and qualified estate planning attorney; however, there are some common considerations when deciding whether a Will or a trust should be used. If … [Read more...] about Should I use a Will or a trust to distribute my estate assets?
At its most basic, trust is a relationship whereby property is held by one party for the benefit of another. Trusts are broadly divided into living trusts and testamentary trusts with the former activating during the lifetime of the Settlor (the creator of the trust) and the latter typically being activated at the time of the Settlor’s death by a provision in the Settlor’s Will. Living trust can be further sub-divided into revocable and irrevocable living trusts while a testamentary trust is … [Read more...] about What is a trust?