In Fairfax, Virginia, charitable giving is simply the act of transferring money or property to a charitable cause, without the expectation of direct compensation. This is normally done for selfless reasons.
In life, charitable giving normally 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 commonly 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 permitting 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 really 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 Fairfax, Virginia
Legal arrangements recognized 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 Fairfax, Virginia, a "charitable remainder trust" is the most common kind of charitable trust. This authorizes 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 (typically 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 Fairfax, Virginia 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 valuable to have a Fairfax, Virginia lawyer handle these negotiations on your behalf, since they will likely understand the legal and financial complexities involved.