In St. Joseph, Missouri, charitable giving is when a person gives 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 usually 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 often 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 allowing you to have your assets transferred to a charity after your death.
There are many ways to give a charitable gift that does not take effect until after the donor dies. The easiest and least complex way to do this is a simple testamentary gift in a will - wherein a certain amount of the donor's money is transferred to the charity upon the donor's death.
Charitable Trusts in St. Joseph, Missouri
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.
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 generally only allowed to use the money to advance their organization's charitable mission.
If a person decides to set up a charitable trust in St. Joseph, Missouri, 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. 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, Missouri 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, Missouri, who can help ensure that your intentions are carried out.