Charitable giving in Santa Clara County, 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 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 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 Santa Clara County, California
Charitable trusts are usually 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 Clara County, California, a "charitable remainder trust" is the most common kind of charitable trust. This allows 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 (generally 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.
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 Santa Clara County, 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 Santa Clara County, California, who will usually be able to make the process much easier.