In Ann Arbor, Michigan, "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 huge majority of charitable gifts are made simply by giving money away, with no intermediary or other complex legal arrangements.
What if, on the other hand, a donor wishes to give everything they own (or a significant chunk of everything they own) to a charity? This is very 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 allowing a person to have as much of their money as they want transferred to a charity of their choice 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 Ann Arbor, Michigan
Legal arrangements known as "charitable trusts" are also utilized to give large amounts of money to charity. It can be used to make the gift quickly, or it can be set to take effect after the donor's death.
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 receives possession and control over the money. The charity is then free to use that money, but exclusively for the purposes laid out in the trust instrument.
The most common type of charitable trust in Ann Arbor, Michigan is a charitable remainder trust. Under this arrangement, you give a certain amount of money or property to a charity. The charity then invests this money, giving you or a named beneficiary a portion of the income generated from these investments for a set amount of time. Once this expires, the money that was initially invested goes to the charity, free and clear.
Obviously, if you want to help a good cause, you want to make sure that any charity you donate to is valid. Sadly, there are quite a few fraudulent charities out there. The ideal 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 Ann Arbor, Michigan 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 confirm that your donation is as effective in helping the charity as it can possibly be. It is also a good idea to speak with an Ann Arbor, Michigan attorney, who can help iron out the more technical details.