In Farmington, 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.
There are many ways you can donate some or all of your property or money to a charity after your death, if you wish to do so. Direct testamentary gifts are the most common and the most simple way to accomplish this. A testamentary gift simply entails giving the money or property directly to the charity, through a provision in your will.
Charitable Trusts in Farmington, Michigan
Charitable trusts are arrangements that involve handing possession (but not necessarily 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 Farmington, Michigan, they usually 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 (usually 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 actually used for a charitable cause, and that your donation will be tax-deductible, you should check to see that the organization is actually tax-exempt. You can find this information from the IRS and/or the agency accountable for taxation in
Do I Need a Farmington, Michigan Attorney?
Making a substantial charitable donation is a generous and admirable act. Nonetheless, good intentions don't always lead to good results. To guarantee 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 helpful to have a Farmington, Michigan lawyer handle these negotiations on your behalf, since they will likely understand the legal and financial complexities involved.