Charitable giving in Santa Cruz 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 feasible: giving the gift to the intended beneficiary.
Some generous donors will sometimes give basically everything they own to charity. This is a wonderful thing to do, but it's not really practical - after all, just about everybody 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 help 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 Cruz County, California
Charitable trusts are usually used for very large donations, and can be made during the donor's life, or after their death.
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 receives possession and control over the money. The charity is then free to use that money, but exclusively for the purposes laid out in the trust instrument.
The most common type of charitable trust in Santa Cruz County, California is a charitable remainder trust. Under this arrangement, you give a certain 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.
Obviously, if you want to help a good cause, you want to make sure that any charity you donate to is valid. Sadly, there are quite a few fraudulent charities out there. The ideal 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 Cruz County, California Attorney?
If you want to create a charitable trust, you should first talk with someone in charge of the charitable organization you wish to help. They will be able to assist you in setting up the trust, or advise you of their preferred method of donation. This will help you confirm that your donation is as effective in helping the charity as it can possibly be. It is also a good idea to speak with a Santa Cruz County, California attorney, who can help iron out the more technical details.