In Wenham, 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 to give a charitable gift that does not take effect until after the donor dies. The easiest and least complex way to do this is a simple testamentary gift in a will - wherein a certain amount of the donor's money is transferred to the charity upon the donor's death.
Charitable Trusts in Wenham, 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.
In a charitable trust, the property is still technically owned by the donor, but the recipient retains possession and control over it. As the trustee, the charity is free to use the money for any purpose laid out in the trust agreement. With a charitable trust, trustees are generally only allowed to use the money to advance their organization's charitable mission.
In Wenham, 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.
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 Wenham, Massachusetts Attorney?
When attempting to establish a charitable trust, or make another charitable donation, the first thing you should do is discuss this with the organization you want to make the donation to. They will probably be able to advise you on how to donate your money in the way that will be most useful to them. And, of course, you should speak with an attorney in Wenham, Massachusetts, who will usually be able to make the process much easier.