In Lake County, Indiana, "charitable giving" involves giving money or property to an individual or organization, expecting nothing directly in return.
In life, charitable giving normally simply involves writing a check or handing cash over to the charitable organization of the donor's choice.
What if, on the other hand, a donor wishes to give everything they own (or a considerable chunk of everything they own) to a charity? This is extremely generous, of course, but it's rarely possible during life, considering the expenses and obligations we all have. On the other hand, most people don't think they'll be needing their money after they die. Knowing this, many arrangements have been created permitting a person to have as much of their money as they want transferred to a charity of their choice 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 frequent 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 Lake County, Indiana
Legal arrangements recognized as "charitable trusts" are also used to give large amounts of money to charity. It can be used to make the gift immediately, or it can be set to take effect after the donor's 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 frequent kind of charitable trust in Lake County, Indiana is a charitable remainder trust. This authorizes 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 normally 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 full ownership of the original fund.
Wanting to help a charitable cause is, of course, a good thing. However, some people seek to take advantage of our good intentions through fraudulent charities. If you want to help ensure that any money you donate to an organization is really used for a charitable cause, and that your donation will be tax-deductible, you should check to see that the organization is really tax-exempt. You can find this information from the IRS and/or the agency responsible for taxation in
Do I Need a Lake County, Indiana 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 valuable to have a Lake County, Indiana lawyer handle these negotiations on your behalf, since they will likely understand the legal and financial complexities involved.