In Ballston Spa, New York, 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 general, it's very easy to make a charitable donation to a cause you want to help. Whether it involves writing a huge check, or dropping spare change in a donation jar, a large majority of charitable gifts are made simply by giving money away, with no intermediary or other complex legal arrangements.
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. Fortunately, 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 Ballston Spa, New York
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.
Under a charitable trust, the money going to the charity technically still belongs to the donor. However, the charity, acting as a trustee, has authority to use it for charitable purposes (what the money can and can't be used for should be clearly laid out in the trust).
In Ballston Spa, New York, a "charitable remainder trust" is the most recognized kind of charitable trust. This allows 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 (generally 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.
Obviously, if you want to help a good cause, you want to make sure that any charity you donate to is legitimate. Sadly, there are quite a few fraudulent charities out there. The best 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 Ballston Spa, New York Attorney?
If you want to set up a charitable trust, you should first speak with a representative of the charity you want to support. You should also talk with an experienced attorney in Ballston Spa, New York, who will be able to help you navigate the legal details, making it easier to give effect to your intentions.