Many people feel strongly about “giving back” throughout their lives, a value that they often wish to include in their estate plans. For some, this may mean leaving a sizeable donation to a favorite charity upon one’s death. For others, it can take the form of a trust that allows beneficiaries to act charitably, either with financial donations, time or socially responsible investments. These are two of the most common ways individuals seek to act charitably as part of their estate planning process.
The first option, often referred to as a “legacy gift,” is the simple act of providing for assets to be signed over to a charity upon an individual’s death. This could be a gift of money, of stocks and bonds, or even of valuable items depending on the charity of choice. It is a good idea to inform the charity of this decision and ensure the correct name for the charity is listed in the will, to allow for a straight-forward transfer of funds.
Another option is to leave a trust to heirs with instructions that the funds should be used for charitable purposes. To maximize the possible impact of this gift, the trustee can be given broad discretion for releasing the funds; heirs could access them to fund charitable donations, to volunteerism, or to pursue a career or skill that allows them to better contribute to society and others. This is a way to promote values and leave a lasting impact while also giving heirs some access and choice in how to spend the funds.
However an individual chooses to do it, it is evident that many individuals consider charitable giving in their estate planning. Creating a will that reflects an individual’s values and makes a positive impact on their community and family is a desire for many. To explore options for charitable giving, and ensure they are properly reflected in a will, it is a good idea to work with a Florida estate planning lawyer.