In St. Paul, Minnesota, "charitable giving" involves giving 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 possible: handing the money or property they wish to donate over to the individual or group they want to help.
Some generous donors will sometimes give virtually everything they own to charity. This is a wonderful thing to do, but it's not really practical - after all, just about everyone has bills to pay. One solution to this is to put off such a generous donation until after death. This allows the donor to meet their obligations during life, while having the satisfaction of knowing that a cause they care about will be given a large amount of assistance after their death.
There are many arrangements permitting you to donate some or all of your assets to a charitable cause after your death, but direct testamentary gifts (simply leaving money in your will to the charity of your choice) are the most frequent.
Charitable Trusts in St. Paul, Minnesota
Charitable trusts are normally used for very large donations, and can be made during the donor's life, or after their death.
The money is still technically owned by the donor, but the charity, serving as a trustee, has the right to use it for charitable purposes, with the exact scope of this right having been laid out in the trust agreement.
In St. Paul, Minnesota, a "charitable remainder trust" is the most common kind of charitable trust. This authorizes the money or property to immediately pass to the charity of the donor's choice, so they can benefit from it as soon as possible. The charity takes the money, and invests it (typically in reliable, but not necessarily high-yield, investments). They keep most of the income that this generates, but return a portion of it to the donor on a regular basis, for a set period of time. When this time runs out, the original donation, along with all the income it will generate, becomes the legal property of the charity, to dispose of as it pleases.
If you wish to set up a charitable trust in you should check with the IRS and equivalent state agencies to ensure that the charity you want to help is registered with them. This will help make sure that your money is used for a good cause (and not to line somebody's pockets) and that your contribution will be tax-deductible.
Do I Need a St. Paul, Minnesota 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 St. Paul, Minnesota lawyer handle these negotiations on your behalf, since they will likely understand the legal and financial complexities involved.