In Portland, Maine, "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.
What if, on the other hand, a donor wishes to give everything they own (or a substantial chunk of everything they own) to a charity? This is quite generous, of course, but it's rarely possible during life, considering the expenses and obligations 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 authorizing 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 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 Portland, Maine
Legal arrangements identified as "charitable trusts" are also used to give large amounts of money to charity. It can be used to make the gift immediately, or it can be set to take effect after the donor's death.
While the money, for a time at least, is still technically owned by the donor, it is possessed and controlled by the charity, which acts as a trustee. The trustee is then able to use the money for the charitable purposes which have been laid out in the agreement that first created the trust.
The most customary kind of charitable trust in Portland, Maine 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.
Wanting to help a charitable cause is, of course, a good thing. However, 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 directly used for a charitable cause, and that your donation will be tax-deductible, you should check to see that the organization is truly tax-exempt. You can find this information from the IRS and/or the agency responsible for taxation in
Do I Need a Portland, Maine Attorney?
If you want to set up a charitable trust, you should first speak with a representative of the charity you want to support. You should also talk with an efficient attorney in Portland, Maine, who will be able to help you navigate the legal details, making it easier to give effect to your intentions.