Should You Leave Money to a Charity in Your Will?

Yee Law Group Inc. > Should You Leave Money to a Charity in Your Will?

Probate Lawyer Sacramento California

If you want to leave money to a charity, depending on your situation, it may be feasible to do this in a will, or it may be more beneficial to your legacy to give your money to a charity in a different way. If you want to leave a non-cash gift to a charity after you pass, there are different ways to distribute wealth that is not liquidated.

Leaving money to a charity in a Last Will and Testament is a legally sound way to ensure that your money will go to the charity that you want it to but it is not always the most financially advantageous way to give money to a charity after you have passed. An individual’s specific situation will help to determine what is the best way for them to leave money to a charity.

Why should you leave money to a charity?

Leaving money to a charity touches peoples’ lives and sustains charities that will continue to do this in your name. People may be able to appreciate you and your generosity for generations to come.

Planned giving to a charity leaves a personal legacy to something that is meaningful to you after you are gone. Your endowment will help your memory live on in the name of a foundation that you believe in.

Are there tax benefits to leaving money to a charity?

Depending on the type of gift a person makes, there may be tax benefits to your estate if you leave money to a charity. There are different ways to do this. A lawyer that is licensed to help with these matters is a good person to ask about your particular situation and what tax advantages may be available to you.

One example of a way to get a tax benefit to leaving money to a charity, is to create a life insurance policy with a charity of your choice as the beneficiary. While you are alive, you can claim the annual cost as a charitable donation.

Talk to a lawyer to find out more about your state’s particular estate tax and charitable donation laws.

What is a legacy gift?

A legacy gift is a planned future gift that designates some part of an individual’s estate as a donation to a charity or other nonprofit organization.

What is legacy giving?

Legacy giving, also called planned giving, is a type of post-mortem gift-giving that enables philanthropic individuals to make larger gifts to charitable organizations than they could make from ordinary income.  

What kinds of non-monetary assets can you give to a charity?

Charities will often accept many different valuable gifts that are not money. These include but are not limited to:

  • Real estate
  • Personal property, such as jewelry, vehicles, artwork, and antiques, etc.
  • Proceeds from life insurance policies
  • Proceeds from retirement plans
  • Investments, such as stocks and mutual funds, etc. 
  • Partnership interest in a business

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