Charitable giving in Washington, District of Columbia is the donating of money or some other asset to a charitable cause.
In general, it's quite easy to make a charitable donation to a cause you want to help. Whether it includes writing a huge check, or dropping spare change in a donation jar, a huge majority of charitable gifts are made simply by giving money away, with no intermediary or other intricate legal arrangements.
What if, however, you want to give all or most of your assets to a charity, to really make a big difference? This is frequently not practical while the donor is alive, since they presumably have expenses, and want to maintain for themselves the lifestyle to which they're accustomed. Luckily, there are a few arrangements authorizing you to have your assets transferred to a charity after your 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 Washington, District of Columbia
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 authority to use it for charitable purposes, with the exact scope of this right having been laid out in the trust agreement.
The most customary kind of charitable trust in Washington, District of Columbia is a charitable remainder trust. This permits you to give as much money or property as you want to a charity. The money is then invested by the charity. The investments are typically fairly conservative, sacrificing large returns for security. The charity then returns a portion of these returns to the donor, or another person named by the donor, while keeping the rest. This lasts for a set period of time, at the end of which the charity gets complete ownership of the original fund.
You should make sure the charity is registered with the Internal Revenue Service, and (if applicable) the taxation authority of .
Do I Need a Washington, District of Columbia Attorney?
Making a substantial charitable donation is a generous and admirable act. Nonetheless, good intentions don't always lead to good results. To guarantee 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 Washington, District of Columbia lawyer handle these negotiations on your behalf, since they will likely understand the legal and financial complexities involved.