In Essex County, 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 establish 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 Essex County, Massachusetts
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 power to use it for charitable purposes, with the exact scope of this right having been laid out in the trust agreement.
The most common kind of charitable trust in Essex County, Massachusetts is a charitable remainder trust. This allows 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 usually 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.
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 Essex County, Massachusetts Attorney?
If you wish to set up a charitable trust, you should consult with the organization directly. They often know the easiest way to direct any charitable giving to their organization. You should also speak with a good trusts and estates attorney in Essex County, Massachusetts, who can help ensure that your intentions are carried out.