In Berkley, Michigan, "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 large 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 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 permitting 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 frequent 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 Berkley, Michigan
Charitable trusts are arrangements that involve handing possession (but not generally ownership) of money or property over to a charity, either during the donor's life, or after their death.
Under a charitable trust, the money going to the charity technically still belongs to the donor. However, the charity, acting as a trustee, has authority to use it for charitable purposes (what the money can and can't be used for should be clearly laid out in the trust).
If a person decides to set up a charitable trust in Berkley, Michigan, 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.
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 Berkley, Michigan 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 valuable to have a Berkley, Michigan lawyer handle these negotiations on your behalf, since they will likely understand the legal and financial complexities involved.