In Montgomery County, Maryland, "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, 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. So, people often put off this donation until after their death.
If you want to make a donation that's effective after your death, there are a few ways to do this. The most common method is also the simplest: leaving the charity whatever property you want to give to it in your will - this is known as a "testamentary gift."
Charitable Trusts in Montgomery County, Maryland
A charitable trust is an arrangement by which a large amount of money can be given to a charity after the death of the donor, or during the donor's life.
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.
If a person decides to set up a charitable trust in Montgomery County, Maryland, they usually set up a "charitable remainder trust," since this is usually beneficial to both the donor (or their estate) as well as the charity. The operation of this type of trust is fairly simple: at a set time (usually the donor's death) the property that the donor wants to give to the charity is handed over, and the charity invests it. The charity benefits by getting to keep most of the money that these investments generate. The donor benefits because they also get a percentage of this income, for a period of time laid out in the trust agreement. Afterwards, the recipient of the donation gets it free and clear.
You should make sure the charity is registered with the Internal Revenue Service, and (if applicable) the taxation authority of .
Do I Need a Montgomery County, Maryland 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 Montgomery County, Maryland lawyer handle these negotiations on your behalf, since they will likely understand the legal and financial complexities involved.