In Lexington, 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.
There are many ways you can donate some or all of your property or money to a charity after your death, if you wish to do so. Direct testamentary gifts are the most common and the most simple way to accomplish this. A testamentary gift simply entails giving the money or property directly to the charity, through a provision in your will.
Charitable Trusts in Lexington, Massachusetts
A charitable trust is an arrangement through which some amount of money or property is given to a charity after the donor's death, or during their life.
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.
In Lexington, Massachusetts, a "charitable remainder trust" is the most common kind of charitable trust. This allows the money or property to immediately pass to the charity of the donor's choice, so they can benefit from it as soon as possible. The charity takes the money, and invests it (generally in reliable, but not necessarily high-yield, investments). They keep most of the income that this generates, but return a portion of it to the donor on a regular basis, for a set period of time. When this time runs out, the original donation, along with all the income it will generate, becomes the legal property of the charity, to dispose of as it pleases.
You should make sure the charity is registered with the Internal Revenue Service, and (if applicable) the taxation authority of .
Do I Need a Lexington, 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 Lexington, Massachusetts lawyer handle these negotiations on your behalf, since they will likely understand the legal and financial complexities involved.