In Livingston County, Michigan, "charitable giving" involves transferring money or property to an individual or organization, expecting nothing directly in return.
Most charitable donors, while they're alive, give their gifts in the simplest way feasible: handing the money or property they wish to donate over to the person or group they want to assist.
Some people want to give a larger percentage of their assets to a charitable organization than would be feasible during life, so they implement some type of arrangement under which the money will be transferred upon the donor's 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 Livingston County, Michigan
A charitable trust is an arrangement through which some amount of money or property is directed to a charity after the donor's death, or throughout their life.
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 Livingston County, 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.
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 Livingston County, 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 a Livingston County, Michigan attorney, who can help iron out the more technical details.