In Howard County, Maryland, "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, however, may be particularly dedicated to a certain cause, giving rise to a desire to donate a very large percentage of their assets to it. However, during life, this is typically infeasible, since people have their own expenses that they have to cover. Thus, people often put off this donation until after their death.
There are many arrangements authorizing you to donate some or all of your assets to a charitable cause after your death, but direct testamentary gifts (simply leaving money in your will to the charity of your choice) are the most prevalent.
Charitable Trusts in Howard County, Maryland
Charitable trusts are typically used for very large donations, and can be made during the donor's life, or after their death.
The money is still technically owned by the donor, but the charity, serving as a trustee, has the power to use it for charitable purposes, with the exact scope of this right having been laid out in the trust agreement.
The most customary kind of charitable trust in Howard County, Maryland is a charitable remainder trust. This permits you to give as much money or property as you want to a charity. The money is then invested by the charity. The investments are typically fairly conservative, sacrificing large returns for security. The charity then returns a portion of these returns to the donor, or another person named by the donor, while keeping the rest. This lasts for a set period of time, at the end of which the charity gets full ownership of the original fund.
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 Howard County, Maryland 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 Howard County, Maryland attorney, who can help iron out the more technical details.