In Lebanon, Maine, "charitable giving" involves giving money or property to an individual or organization, expecting nothing directly in return.
In general, it's extremely easy to make a charitable donation to a cause you want to help. Whether it contains writing a huge check, or dropping spare change in a donation jar, a huge majority of charitable gifts are made simply by giving money away, with no intermediary or other complicated legal arrangements.
What if, on the other hand, a donor wishes to give everything they own (or a considerable chunk of everything they own) to a charity? This is extremely generous, of course, but it's rarely possible during life, considering the expenses and commitments we all have. On the other hand, most people don't think they'll be needing their money after they die. Knowing this, many arrangements have been created permitting a person to have as much of their money as they want transferred to a charity of their choice after their death.
There are many arrangements permitting 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 frequent.
Charitable Trusts in Lebanon, Maine
A charitable trust is an arrangement through which some amount of money or property is directed to a charity after the donor's death, or throughout their life.
The money is still technically owned by the donor, but the charity, serving as a trustee, has the authority to use it for charitable purposes, with the exact scope of this right having been laid out in the trust agreement.
If a person decides to set up a charitable trust in Lebanon, Maine, they normally 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 (normally 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.
Wanting to help a charitable cause is, of course, a good thing. Nonetheless, some people seek to take advantage of our good intentions through fraudulent charities. If you want to help ensure that any money you donate to an organization is really used for a charitable cause, and that your donation will be tax-deductible, you should check to see that the organization is really tax-exempt. You can find this information from the IRS and/or the agency accountable for taxation in
Do I Need a Lebanon, Maine Attorney?
If you wish to set up a charitable trust, you should consult with the organization directly. They commonly know the simplest way to direct any charitable giving to their organization. You should also speak with a seasoned trusts and estates attorney in Lebanon, Maine, who can help ensure that your intentions are carried out.