In Williamstown, 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.
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 Williamstown, Massachusetts
Charitable trusts are arrangements that involve handing possession (but not necessarily ownership) of money or property over to a charity, either during the donor's life, or after their death.
Under a charitable trust, the money going to the charity technically still belongs to the donor. However, the charity, acting as a trustee, has authority to use it for charitable purposes (what the money can and can't be used for should be clearly laid out in the trust).
The most common type of Williamstown, Massachusetts charitable trust is known as a "charitable remainder trust." Under this arrangement, some of your money or property is given 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.
Obviously, if you want to help a good cause, you want to make sure that any charity you donate to is legitimate. Sadly, there are quite a few fraudulent charities out there. The best way to do this is to check and make sure that the charity is registered as a tax-exempt organization with the IRS, and the tax authorities in
Do I Need a Williamstown, 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 ensure 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 Williamstown, Massachusetts attorney, who can help iron out the more technical details.