In Pittsfield, 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 large 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 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 donating the money or property directly to the charity, through a provision in your will.
Charitable Trusts in Pittsfield, 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 gets possession and control over the money. The charity is then free to use that money, but only for the purposes laid out in the trust instrument.
The most prevalent type of charitable trust in Pittsfield, Massachusetts is a charitable remainder trust. Under this arrangement, you give a specific 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.
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 Pittsfield, 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 advantageous to have a Pittsfield, Massachusetts lawyer handle these negotiations on your behalf, since they will likely understand the legal and financial complexities involved.