In Augusta, Maine, "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.
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 Augusta, Maine
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.
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.
In Augusta, Maine, a "charitable remainder trust" is the most recognized 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.
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 Augusta, Maine 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 Augusta, Maine lawyer handle these negotiations on your behalf, since they will likely understand the legal and financial complexities involved.