Wealth Planning Law Group
attorney Todd M. Villarrubia

Todd Villarrubia

Attorney at Law
Get To Know Todd

Maximizing Your Legacy: Strategic Ways to Include Charities in Your Estate Plan

Posted On: December 25, 2023

By: Todd Villarrubia

Todd M. Villarrubia, an authority in wealth planning and preservation, brings over 30 years of in-depth, experience to the complex challenges of safeguarding familial and individual wealth. Based in New Orleans, Louisiana, his expertise is not only recognized in the local community but also reverberates within the legal industry.
Chaitable tax savings
Leaving a legacy through charitable bequests is not just for the wealthy. Sharon Waters highlighted in her AARP article that anyone can make a lasting impact by including charities in their estate plan. This article explores various strategies to do so effectively. Understanding the Impact of Charitable Bequests Charitable bequests are instructions to allocate assets to charitable organizations within a will or estate plan. These bequests can create a lasting impact, supporting causes and organizations that matter to you long after you’re gone. Even modest bequests can significantly contribute to a charity’s mission. Assessing Your Options for Charitable Giving There…

Leaving a legacy through charitable bequests is not just for the wealthy. Sharon Waters highlighted in her AARP article that anyone can make a lasting impact by including charities in their estate plan. This article explores various strategies to do so effectively.

Understanding the Impact of Charitable Bequests

Charitable bequests are instructions to allocate assets to charitable organizations within a will or estate plan. These bequests can create a lasting impact, supporting causes and organizations that matter to you long after you're gone. Even modest bequests can significantly contribute to a charity's mission.

Assessing Your Options for Charitable Giving

There are several ways to include charities in your estate plan:

  • Wills and Trusts: Directly listing charities in your will or trust.
  • Beneficiary Designations: Naming charities as beneficiaries on retirement accounts or life insurance policies.
  • Charitable Remainder Trusts: Providing income to beneficiaries for a period before transferring the remainder to a charity.
  • Charitable Gift Annuities: A charity pays a fixed annuity to the donor or another beneficiary in exchange for a gift.

Tax Implications and Benefits

Charitable bequests can offer tax benefits. Donations of cash, property, or stocks can potentially reduce estate taxes. It's essential to consult with a financial advisor to understand the specific tax implications and benefits based on your estate's size and the nature of your bequest.

Choosing the Right Charities

Selecting charities that align with your values is crucial—research potential charities for their effectiveness and legitimacy. Tools like Charity Navigator or GuideStar can provide valuable insights into a charity's operations and impact.

The Role of Legal and Financial Advisors

Professional advisors play a critical role in estate planning. They can help you navigate complex tax laws and honor your charitable wishes. Regular reviews of your estate plan with these professionals are essential to keep it aligned with your goals.

Donor-Advised Funds: A Flexible Option

Donor-advised funds (DAFs) offer flexibility. You can contribute to the fund and receive a tax deduction in the same year, then recommend grants to charities over time. This option is ideal for those who wish to maintain flexibility in their charitable giving.

Making Your Charitable Intentions Clear

Ensure that your estate documents clearly state your charitable intentions. Specify the charities by their full legal names and consider using percentages rather than fixed amounts to account for value fluctuations in your estate.

The Personal Side of Charitable Bequests

Including a charitable bequest in your estate plan can be deeply fulfilling. It's an opportunity to support causes you care about and leave a positive mark on the world. Consider the broader impact of your giving beyond the financial aspects.

Conclusion

Incorporating charities into your estate plan requires thoughtful consideration and planning. Consult with legal and financial professionals to ensure that your wishes are effectively executed. Remember, the act of giving, as emphasized by Sharon Waters, is significant regardless of the amount. Your charitable bequest can make a meaningful difference.

Additional Resources

For further reading and research on estate planning and charitable giving, consider the following resources:

Contact estate planning attorneys or financial advisors specializing in charitable giving for professional advice.

Request A Consultation
Share This Post
Wealth Planning Law Group

101 Allen Toussaint Blvd. Ste 404
New Orleans, LA 70124

Get Directions
IMS - Estate Planning and Elder Law Practice Growth Advisors
Powered by
chevron-downarrow-right