Charitable giving in Merced County, California is the donating of money or some other asset to a charitable cause.
The vast majority of charitable gifts are made using the most simple method possible: giving the gift to the intended beneficiary.
Some generous donors will sometimes give virtually everything they own to charity. This is a wonderful thing to do, but it's not really practical - after all, just about everyone has bills to pay. One solution to this is to put off such a generous donation until after death. This allows the donor to meet their obligations during life, while having the satisfaction of knowing that a cause they care about will be given a large amount of assistance after their death.
There are many arrangements authorizing you to donate some or all of your assets to a charitable cause after your death, but direct testamentary gifts (simply leaving money in your will to the charity of your choice) are the most prevalent.
Charitable Trusts in Merced County, California
A charitable trust is an arrangement through which some amount of money or property is given to a charity after the donor's death, or during their life.
In a charitable trust, the money that is donated is still legally owned by the donor. But this is largely a formality, as the charity gets possession and control over the money. The charity is then free to use that money, but only for the purposes laid out in the trust instrument.
The most prevalent type of charitable trust in Merced County, California is a charitable remainder trust. Under this arrangement, you give a specific amount of money or property to a charity. The charity then invests this money, giving you or a named beneficiary a portion of the income generated from these investments for a set amount of time. Once this expires, the money that was initially invested goes to the charity, free and clear.
If you wish to set up a charitable trust in you should check with the IRS and equivalent state agencies to ensure that the charity you want to help is registered with them. This will help make sure that your money is used for a good cause (and not to line somebody's pockets) and that your contribution will be tax-deductible.
Do I Need a Merced County, California Attorney?
Making a substantial charitable donation is a generous and admirable act. However, good intentions don't always lead to good results. To ensure that your donation has the most positive impact possible, you should discuss the matter in detail with representatives of the organization(s) you want to donate to. It might be advantageous to have a Merced County, California lawyer handle these negotiations on your behalf, since they will likely understand the legal and financial complexities involved.