In Maplewood, Missouri, charitable giving is when a person transfers something to an organization or individual, without consideration (getting something directly in return). This is for the purpose of advancing some type of cause, helping people in need, or any other altruistic motive.
In life, charitable giving typically simply involves writing a check or handing cash over to the charitable organization of the donor's choice.
What if, however, you want to give all or most of your assets to a charity, to really make a big difference? This is frequently not practical while the donor is alive, since they presumably have expenses, and want to maintain for themselves the lifestyle to which they're accustomed. However, there are a few arrangements authorizing you to have your assets transferred to a charity after your death.
If you decide to make a sizable donation to a charity that will not directly occur until after your death, the easiest (and most commonly-used) method is to simply leave the desired amount of money or property to the charitable organization in your will.
Charitable Trusts in Maplewood, Missouri
Legal arrangements identified 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.
In a charitable trust, the property is still technically owned by the donor, but the recipient retains possession and control over it. As the trustee, the charity is free to use the money for any purpose laid out in the trust agreement. With a charitable trust, trustees are usually only permitted to use the money to advance their organization's charitable mission.
If a person decides to set up a charitable trust in Maplewood, Missouri, 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.
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 directly used for a charitable cause, and that your donation will be tax-deductible, you should check to see that the organization is truly tax-exempt. You can find this information from the IRS and/or the agency responsible for taxation in
Do I Need a Maplewood, Missouri 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 advantageous to have a Maplewood, Missouri lawyer handle these negotiations on your behalf, since they will likely understand the legal and financial complexities involved.