Charitable Giving Through Your Estate Plan

by | Jul 11, 2020

Charitable giving is one of the many aspects of your estate plan. You don’t have to be wealthy to leave a positive impact on your community. In fact, there are several ways to include charitable giving in your estate plan, regardless of your financial situation. The easiest way is to leave a gift inherited by your will. For this type of donation plan, it is important to clearly describe what you want to do.

As a will and trust lawyer in Anchorage, it is gratifying to meet with clients who want to use their assets to support nonprofit organizations and other charitable efforts. Even small gifts can have a large impact. Working with a reputable will and trust lawyer in Anchorage can help ensure that you are meeting the necessary requirements. This way your gift, no matter the size, will have the most impact.

Talking About Charitable Giving

No matter what stage of life you are in, estate planning is never an easy conversation to have. However, there are some positive incentives for these difficult discussions. For example, incorporating charitable giving into your real estate plan provides significant tax benefits. It also leaves a tradition to explain your passion and generosity by helping charities and changing lives.

Reasons to Give

There are countless reasons to include charitable giving when planning your will or trust. In many cases these days, people want to “give back” to the organizations that did so much for us during a recent crisis. For others, they simply want to use some of their estate to further a cause that is near and dear to their heart. This can come in the form of a financial contribution, the transfer of real estate, or even the donation of personal items that will further the charity’s mission.

Common Forms of Charitable Giving

Some of the most common forms of charitable giving include a specific allocation of funds or percentage of total ownership. You can also donate assets or specific items, such as real estate, personal property, or a life insurance policy. Also, it may be a good idea for people to designate alternative beneficiaries if the charitable organization dissolves.

Tax Exemptions

From a more pragmatic point of view, some choose charitable giving through an estate plan partly because of the tax exemption of most non-profit organizations. They know that their gifts will not be subject to the “death tax” or other laws, which will reduce the overall value they give. What is earned in life is an important source of pride, and many are pleased to know that this will be passed entirely to the charity of their choice.

Ways to Give

Some of the most common ways to include charitable giving in your will or trust include:

  • A specific sum of money
  • A certain class of property, such as stocks
  • A specific asset such as an automobile
  • A percentage of what’s left after other items have been distributed to beneficiaries
  • A contingent bequest (if a beneficiary does not survive you, his or her portion would go to the charity)

In Alaska, it is necessary to follow specific rules and regulations to ensure that your gift arrives smoothly into the hands of the intended recipient. An estate planning attorney can help you make your wishes clear and easy to follow. The Law Office of Constance Aschenbrenner can guide you through the process.

Ready to get starting in creating a charitable giving plan that benefits your charity or non-profit of choice?  Then be sure to call our Anchorage estate planning law firm at (907) 334-9200 and ask to schedule a consultation.

Blogs by The Law Office of Constance A. Aschenbrenner


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