In Binghamton, 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 Binghamton, 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.
In a charitable trust, the money that is donated is still legally owned by the donor. But this is largely a formality, as the charity gets possession and control over the money. The charity is then free to use that money, but only for the purposes laid out in the trust instrument.
The most common type of charitable trust in Binghamton, New York is a charitable remainder trust. Under this arrangement, you give a certain amount of money or property to a charity. The charity then invests this money, giving you or a named beneficiary a portion of the income generated from these investments for a set amount of time. Once this expires, the money that was initially invested goes to the charity, free and clear.
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 Binghamton, New York 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 helpful to have a Binghamton, New York lawyer handle these negotiations on your behalf, since they will likely understand the legal and financial complexities involved.