Before you include that charity in your estate planning…consider this example and some tips:
Our client Frank was a “Quiet Hero”. He came from very modest beginnings in Texas to earn academic scholarships to help him work through Texas Tech University to earn a PhD in engineering. He served an important communications role with the U.S. Army and followed that with several decades of service with the almost unknown “National Security Agency”. He was one of the top protectors of America during the “Cold War” with the U.S.S.R.
When Frank and his wife both passed on, they left generous donations to some family members and a number of charities. One of the charities was local. Surprisingly, when it came time to move the money out, administer, and process the Trusts, that local charity disagreed with the terms of the Administration of Frank and his wife’s Trusts.
Having known Frank for almost fifteen (15) years, had he known this was going to happen with this charity, he likely would not have made a bequest to them.
If you are thinking about donations to a charity, make sure that you know the nature of that charity and possibly talk with them ahead of time to make sure that the resources that you spent your life in acquiring, saving and investing will be specifically administered in the way that you desire.
Some things to consider about charities:
- Are they a legitimate charity? There is a lot of fraud out there. The IRS has a “EO Select Check” listing IRS approved charities. It will also tell you if the entity is tax deductible.
- Giving doesn’t have to be cash. Many charities are happy to accept Stocks, land, and or automobiles.
- Keep great records. You will need the records for tax deductions purposes.
- Not be difficult. You want your charity to make it easy to donate to, not difficult to donate to.
At the Law Firm of Steven Andrew Jackson, Attorney and Counsellor at Law, we have helped hundreds of families protect themselves and their loved ones, avoid Estate Taxes and Probate Costs, and keep their Estate Plans current with the law through The Customized Protective Estate Planning Solution™.