Charitable giving in Santa Barbara, 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.
If you want to make a donation that's effective after your death, there are a few ways to do this. The most prevalent 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 Santa Barbara, California
Charitable trusts are typically used for very large donations, and can be made during the donor's life, or after their death.
The money is still technically owned by the donor, but the charity, serving as a trustee, has the right to use it for charitable purposes, with the exact scope of this right having been laid out in the trust agreement.
In Santa Barbara, California, a "charitable remainder trust" is the most common kind of charitable trust. This permits the money or property to immediately pass to the charity of the donor's choice, so they can benefit from it as soon as possible. The charity takes the money, and invests it (usually in reliable, but not necessarily high-yield, investments). They keep most of the income that this generates, but return a portion of it to the donor on a regular basis, for a set period of time. When this time runs out, the original donation, along with all the income it will generate, becomes the legal property of the charity, to dispose of as it pleases.
Obviously, if you want to help a good cause, you want to make sure that any charity you donate to is legitimate. Sadly, there are quite a few fraudulent charities out there. The best way to do this is to check and make sure that the charity is registered as a tax-exempt organization with the IRS, and the tax authorities in
Do I Need a Santa Barbara, 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 Santa Barbara, California lawyer handle these negotiations on your behalf, since they will likely understand the legal and financial complexities involved.