In Berrien County, Michigan, "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 huge 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 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 authorizing 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 prevalent 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 Berrien County, Michigan
Charitable trusts are arrangements that involve handing possession (but not always 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. Nonetheless, the charity, acting as a trustee, has power to use it for charitable purposes (what the money can and can't be utilized for should be clearly laid out in the trust).
If a person decides to set up a charitable trust in Berrien County, Michigan, they typically 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 (typically 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.
Many charitable donations are deductible from your state and federal taxable income. But, in order for your donations to count, the charity should be registered with the IRS and equivalent institution in .
Do I Need a Berrien County, Michigan Attorney?
When attempting to create a charitable trust, or make another charitable donation, the first thing you should do is discuss this with the organization you want to make the donation to. They will probably be able to advise you on how to donate your money in the way that will be most useful to them. And, of course, you should speak with an attorney in Berrien County, Michigan, who will typically be able to make the process much easier.