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Charitable giving in an estate plan

On Behalf of | Mar 31, 2016 | Estate Planning

Some Florida residents who are preparing wills or trusts as part of their estate plan may want to leave a part of their estate to charity. Philanthropic bequests have always been around, but they are increasing in popularity. Organizations are recognizing this as well as the fact that one thing donors appreciate is more engagement. In other words, once they have pledged a portion of their estate to the organization, they are treated as though the organization has already received the money. While charitable bequests can be the right decision for some people, there are a couple of pitfalls they need to watch out for.

Younger people might be particularly tempted to make such an altruistic gesture. However, it is important that they go about it in the right way. Once pledged, an asset may not be easy or even possible to get back, and a single person in their 20s might promise their estate and later have a family they cannot leave assets to. People may want to make a revocable gift rather than an irrevocable one.

Another danger is figuring out how much to leave while making sure there is enough left over for retirement. One strategy is to set up the estate plan so that a portion of the remaining estate goes to the chosen organization.

Planning a charitable bequest as part of an estate plan can be complex, and there can be many pitfalls. As a result, people might want to work with an attorney to discuss how the plan might be structured based on their individual situation and needs.


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