In St. Joseph, 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 allowed: handing the money or property they wish to donate over to the individual or group they want to help.
Some people want to give a larger percentage of their assets to a charitable organization than would be feasible during life, so they establish some type of arrangement under which the money will be transferred upon the donor's death.
If you decide to make a sizable donation to a charity that will not actually occur until after your death, the easiest (and most normally-used) method is to simply leave the desired amount of money or property to the charitable organization in your will.
Charitable Trusts in St. Joseph, Michigan
Legal arrangements known as "charitable trusts" are also used to give large amounts of money to charity. It can be used to make the gift immediately, or it can be set to take effect after the donor's death.
While the money, for a time at least, is still technically owned by the donor, it is possessed and controlled by the charity, which acts as a trustee. The trustee is then able to use the money for the charitable purposes which have been laid out in the agreement that first appointed the trust.
The most common kind of charitable trust in St. Joseph, Michigan is a charitable remainder trust. This allows you to give as much money or property as you want to a charity. The money is then invested by the charity. The investments are usually fairly conservative, sacrificing large returns for security. The charity then returns a portion of these returns to the donor, or another person named by the donor, while keeping the rest. This lasts for a set period of time, at the end of which the charity gets full ownership of the original fund.
Wanting to help a charitable cause is, of course, a good thing. However, 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 responsible for taxation in
Do I Need a St. Joseph, Michigan Attorney?
If you wish to set up a charitable trust, you should consult with the organization directly. They often know the easiest way to direct any charitable giving to their organization. You should also speak with a good trusts and estates attorney in St. Joseph, Michigan, who can help ensure that your intentions are carried out.