Charitable Donations in Wills and Trusts


Sometimes a person wants to donate money to a charity in the event of their death.  In fact, about 5% of Americans choose make charitable donations in wills and trusts.  The law provides several ways for this possibility.  This article will explain a few and what the perks are in donating this way.

Charitable Donations in Wills and Trusts

When creating your estate plan, you have various options on how to leave charitable donations in wills and trusts.  First, you can set out a designated amount to be donated to charity without any parameters.  This means the lump sum will go to the charity.  The charity can then delegate and use the money how they see necessary.

Another option however, is to earmark the money or set up a trust.  If you set up a trust for your charitable donation, then you can have some control over how it is used.  The charity can accept the money, but must administer it in accordance with the trust.  So you can set our certain wishes and rules regarding the money.

Finally, if you are from a wealthy family, you may want to consider setting up a family foundation.  For example, George Kaiser of the Bank of Oklahoma has the Kaiser Family Foundation that grants money to certain public benefit causes around the state.  This is particularly useful to families that want to avoid estate taxes on large incomes and inheritances.


Creating your Charitable Donation Plan

It is vital that you understand you must designate your charitable donation in writing.  This is either in your will, or a trust that you create.  The trusts can be effective immediately or upon your death.  If you do not designate the desire to give to charity in your will with specific names and amounts, you may miss the opportunity.  For instance, if you mention it and have intentions, but do not place it in your will the courts will not recognize it.  Thus, you may not be able to leave anything.

Tulsa Estate Attorney Advice

Our Kania Estate Attorneys understand that setting up charitable donations in wills and trusts is often an afterthought.  This is why it is important to have an attorney walk you through the process.  As a result, you can ensure your wishes are as you want and that a court will recognize them.  Our firm offers a free initial consultation: 918.743.2233.

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