Livens & Reed, PLLC

Include charitable giving wishes in estate planning process

Many Texas residents and others around the country have various charitable organizations they are passionate about. They regularly contribute money or routinely donate their time to causes important to them. Certain people may have the desire to somehow continue to support these causes, even after they have passed away. They may choose to incorporate this philanthropic desire into their estate planning process so that their support may continue for many years.

Whether the reason is purely philanthropic or based on tax purposes, financial advisers recommend that charitable giving should be a part of developing an estate plan. They first suggest to decide how many organizations can be supported on an ongoing basis, particularly if someone has contributed to several causes. The decision must be made whether to spread future donations among several charities or give it all to one. Then, following personal goals or priorities, select the organization to receive the donations.

Next, a discussion should take place regarding how the donations will be made. While cash donations are common, others may decide to donate property, art or other financial securities. This decision may also depend on the type of charity to which the donation is intended. Finally, the estate plan should include how the donation will be made. Among the possibilities for this include wills, charitable trusts and private foundations.

Estate planning is an important process that should not be overlooked. Having an estate plan in place provides the comfort of knowing that one's assets will be distributed in the manner intended. A Texas estate administration attorney can provide assistance in developing the plan specific to an individual's needs.

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