In Berkley, Massachusetts, "charitable giving" involves transferring money or property to an individual or organization, expecting nothing directly in return.
In general, it's very easy to make a charitable donation to a cause you want to help. Whether it involves writing a huge check, or dropping spare change in a donation jar, a large majority of charitable gifts are made simply by giving money away, with no intermediary or other complex legal arrangements.
Some people want to give a larger percentage of their assets to a charitable organization than would be feasible during life, so they create some type of arrangement under which the money will be transferred upon the donor's 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 Berkley, Massachusetts
Legal arrangements known 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.
While the money, for a time at least, is still technically owned by the donor, it is possessed and controlled by the charity, which acts as a trustee. The trustee is then able to use the money for the charitable purposes which have been laid out in the agreement that first created the trust.
The most common type of charitable trust in Berkley, Massachusetts 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.
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 actually used for a charitable cause, and that your donation will be tax-deductible, you should check to see that the organization is actually tax-exempt. You can find this information from the IRS and/or the agency responsible for taxation in
Do I Need a Berkley, Massachusetts 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 helpful to have a Berkley, Massachusetts lawyer handle these negotiations on your behalf, since they will likely understand the legal and financial complexities involved.