In Greenfield, Massachusetts, "charitable giving" involves donating money or property to an individual or organization, expecting nothing directly in return.
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.
Some people want to give a larger percentage of their assets to a charitable organization than would be feasible during life, so they implement 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 prevalent 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 Greenfield, Massachusetts
Charitable trusts are typically 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 typical type of Greenfield, Massachusetts charitable trust is identified as a "charitable remainder trust." Under this arrangement, some of your money or property is directed to your charity of choice. The charity then invests the money, while giving a percentage of the income generated by these investments to you or a beneficiary of your choice, for a determinate period of time. Once this time is up, ownership of the original fund transfers to the charity.
If you wish to set up a charitable trust in you should check with the IRS and equivalent state agencies to confirm that the charity you want to help is registered with them. This will help make sure that your money is utilized for a good cause (and not to line somebody's pockets) and that your contribution will be tax-deductible.
Do I Need a Greenfield, Massachusetts 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 Greenfield, Massachusetts attorney, who can help iron out the more technical details.