Many people who accumulate wealth will at some point look for opportunities to give back to their community or to their favorite charitable causes. Philanthropy is a noble pursuit allowing you to do some real good in the world. It can also provide some major benefits such as savings on income and estate tax.

The process of charitable planning begins by researching the charities you want to give to, to see what their purposes are and to determine how much of your contributions will go towards that purpose (rather than paying for administrative overhead). You can also consider your family’s objectives – whether you want to create a legacy of charitable giving that involves your children, grandchildren, and so forth.

Once you have selected your charity or charities, there are a number of beneficial vehicles for gifting funds or other assets to those organizations. One of the simplest and most effective options is writing the charity or foundation a check. Or, you can create a split-interest trust such as a charitable lead trust or a charitable remainder trust; these trusts allow you to patronize a charitable cause while also passing assets to your loved ones. A third option is forming your own private foundation or 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

Charitable estate planning vehicles are fantastic tools that allow you to build a philanthropic legacy while also protecting the wealth you have worked so hard to accumulate. However, charitable planning can often be a complex process and may lead to serious financial problems if improperly executed. For these reasons, it is important to enlist the services of an estate planning attorney. If you are interested in charitable estate planning, contact Wealth Planning Law Group at (504) 608-3174 or