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Structuring wills and estates for charitable giving

On Behalf of | Jun 27, 2024 | Wills & Estates

Charitable trusts are a great way for people to support causes they care about and leave a lasting legacy. These trusts can be set up as part of an estate plan. This allows people to give assets to charitable organizations after they pass away. In Pennsylvania, state laws govern charitable trusts to make sure the donated assets are properly managed and used.

Types of charitable trusts

There are two main kinds of charitable trusts: charitable remainder trusts (CRTs) and charitable lead trusts (CLTs).

  • Charitable remainder trusts (CRTs): These trusts provide income to beneficiaries, often the donor or their family, for a set period. After this time, the remaining assets go to the chosen charity.
  • Charitable lead trusts (CLTs): These trusts give income to the charity for a certain number of years. After that, the remaining assets go to the donor’s heirs.

Both types of trusts offer significant tax benefits, such as income tax deductions and reduced estate and gift taxes.

Important steps

Incorporating charitable giving into your wills and estates involves several important steps. First, identify the charities you want to support. Then, decide if you want to leave a specific amount, a percentage of your estate, or particular assets (like real estate or stocks). It’s a good idea to work with an estate planning attorney familiar with Pennsylvania’s laws to see your plans to fruition.

Benefits of charitable giving in estate planning

Implementing an estate plan can support important causes and offer financial benefits. Contributions to charitable trusts can lower the taxable value of your estate, reducing estate taxes. These trusts also ensure your legacy reflects your philanthropic values, making a lasting impact on the community and causes you care about.

By carefully planning your will and estate, you can have peace of mind knowing your charitable wishes will be honored. Your contributions will continue to make a difference long after you’re gone.