Including Charity In Your Estate Planning

Coral Gables estate planning attorneys

Including Charity In Your Estate Planning

For many people, philanthropy is an important part of their everyday life. If you are one of those people, your charity does not have to end when you are gone. On the contrary, with careful planning, your charitable gifting can continue long past the time of your death. For that to occur, you will need to work closely with an experienced estate planning attorney to incorporate charitably gifting strategies and tools into your estate plan. In the meantime, the Coral Gables estate planning attorneys at Stivers Law discuss some common ways to include charity in your estate plan.

The Joy of Charitable Gifting

If charitable gifting is truly a way of life for you, whether you give to numerous charities or focus on a single cause, you likely feel strongly about your cause(s). As you undoubtedly know, it isn’t always necessary to gift large sums of money to make a difference. Sometimes, a relatively small donation can truly change a life. Moreover, there is a true joy in giving that you also probably recognize. Given the importance of philanthropy in your daily life, it seems only natural to continue that philanthropy after you are gone if possible.

Including Charity In Your Estate Planning

There are several different ways in which you may be able to incorporate charitable gifting into your estate plan, including:

  • Last Will and Testament. Gifts to charity can always be made using your Will; however, there are several drawbacks to using this method. First and foremost, gifts made using a Will do not allow you to retain any control over how the gift is used by the beneficiary. In addition, if you wish to make any changes to the gifts you make in your Will it is usually necessary to revoke your Will and execute a new one,
  • Trust. Establishing a charitable trust is a popular way to include gifting in your estate plan. Both charitable lead and charitable remainder trusts, for instance, allow you to make gifts to both a charitable and a non-charitable beneficiary. Gifts are made to the charitable beneficiary for a pre-determined amount of time with the remainder being paid out to the non-charitable beneficiary – or vice versa.
  • Donor advised fund or annuity. A donor advised fund or annuity may also work for your gifting. It works by transferring gifted funds 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.
  • Foundation. Creating a 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 and/or grandchildren in your philanthropic endeavors.  Of course, running a foundation requires a considerable amount of your time and attention, particularly if you plan to grow the foundation by soliciting gifts from other donors as well.

Contact Coral Gables Estate Planning Attorneys

For more information, please join us for an upcoming FREE webinar. If you have additional questions or concerns about how to incorporate charitable gifting into your estate plan, contact the experienced Coral Gables estate planning attorneys at Stivers Law by calling (305) 456-3255 to schedule an appointment.

Author Bio

Justin Stivers is the founder and managing attorney of Stivers Law, an estate planning firm specializing in wills, probate, trust administration, and financial risk management services. Justin’s approach goes beyond just creating legal documents. From aligning investments with estate plans to ensuring comprehensive insurance coverage, he safeguards a client’s legacy from unforeseen circumstances. His commitment extends beyond individual transactions, fostering lifelong partnerships to provide ongoing support and guidance.

With an impressive track record, Justin is licensed by the Florida and the Tennessee State Bars. His professional portfolio boasts Series 65 registration as a Registered Investment Advisor, the Wealth Management Specialist™ designation, and a 2-15 License for Health, Life, and Annuities. His dedication to excellence has earned him positions like Board Member of the Estate Planning Council of Greater Miami, Business Eagle Member of the Florida Justice Association, and active membership in esteemed organizations like the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.

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