Charitable giving in San Francisco, California is the giving of money or some other asset to a charitable cause.
The vast majority of charitable gifts are made using the most simple method allowed: giving the gift to the intended beneficiary.
Some generous donors will sometimes give essentially 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.
If you want to make a donation that's effective after your death, there are a few ways to do this. The most common method is also the simplest: leaving the charity whatever property you want to give to it in your will - this is known as a "testamentary gift."
Charitable Trusts in San Francisco, California
Charitable trusts are usually used for very large donations, and can be made during the donor's life, or after their death.
Under a charitable trust, the money going to the charity technically still belongs to the donor. However, the charity, acting as a trustee, has authority to use it for charitable purposes (what the money can and can't be used for should be clearly laid out in the trust).
The most common type of San Francisco, California charitable trust is known as a "charitable remainder trust." Under this arrangement, some of your money or property is given to your charity of choice. The charity then invests the money, while giving a percentage of the income generated by these investments to you or a beneficiary of your choice, for a determinate period of time. Once this time is up, ownership of the original fund transfers to the charity.
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 San Francisco, California Attorney?
When attempting to establish a charitable trust, or make another charitable donation, the first thing you should do is discuss this with the organization you want to make the donation to. They will probably be able to advise you on how to donate your money in the way that will be most useful to them. And, of course, you should speak with an attorney in San Francisco, California, who will usually be able to make the process much easier.