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Including charities in your estate plan

When you are thinking about the legacy that you would like to leave at the end of your lifetime, it is likely that your immediate family and loved ones will be your first concern. However, in addition to the people that you love, you may also think about the causes that you are passionate about. You may have benefited from a non-profit or charity over the years, or witnessed first-hand the great work that you do.

Leaving part of your estate to a charity can bring a vast amount of meaning to the assets that you have accumulated during your lifetime. It is important therefore that you plan for this efficiently and effectively. The following are some considerations that you should make when putting a charity in your estate plan.

Consider what types of assets you would like to leave

If you already have a charitable organization in mind, you should consider what form of asset you would like to donate during your lifetime. Leaving cash assets tends to be the simplest form of donation. However, you may decide that you would like to gift artwork, a building or privately-held securities to the cause.

Consider whether you would like to leave the gift in your will

Many people mention their desire to leave assets to charity in their will. However, it can be possible to benefit from a tax perspective by creating a charitable trust. This can free up funds, allowing you to maximize your donation.

It is important that you plan and research thoroughly when making a charitable gift in your estate plan.