In Cortland, 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, on the other hand, a donor wishes to give everything they own (or a significant chunk of everything they own) to a charity? This is very generous, of course, but it's rarely possible during life, considering the expenses and obligations we all have. On the other hand, most people don't think they'll be needing their money after they die. Knowing this, many arrangements have been created allowing a person to have as much of their money as they want transferred to a charity of their choice after their death.
There are many arrangements allowing 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 common.
Charitable Trusts in Cortland, New York
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.
The most common type of charitable trust in Cortland, 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.
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 Cortland, 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 Cortland, New York lawyer handle these negotiations on your behalf, since they will likely understand the legal and financial complexities involved.