Are you an impassioned volunteer for a charity that is meaningful to you? Perhaps your life has been t ouched deeply by a cause and as you consider how you would like to be remembered, leaving some of your hard-earned savings to help has entered your mind. This is called leaving a legacy. It can be a rewarding and meaningful way for you to assure your assets are working for good after you are gone.
Leaving Money to a Charity in Your Will
You can arrange to leave money for your favorite charities in your will. When you choose to do this, you can beassured that your contribution will help carry on your work. It also assures that you remain in control of your assets while you are still living. It is important to get good counsel when preparing your will because there are unintended results that you may or may not want if it is not drafted correctly.
Perhaps your family has benefited from the assistance of a nonprofit and that assistance was a specific means of service. For example, perhaps you have a family member with multiple sclerosis and was unable to work during a particularly difficult exacerbation. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society offers emergency financial assistance and when your family member suffered and could not work, the NMSS provided a gift to bridge the gap in the interim of this health concern. You may wish to donate to this organization’s assistance fund. While this appears to be a terrific idea it could be too limiting to the charity.
Here’s what we mean. Perhaps another person makes a large gift annuity to this fund at some point before you pass away. The charity must use your funds according to your wishes even though that part of their mission is fully funded when another aspect of the charity’s work is suffering from lack of funds. Considering the limited aspect of your gift and choosing to allow the charity to use the gift at its discretion may be a better option. Another option is to establish a fund in your name so that your gift lives on.
Also, you may wish to name back-up charities to your chosen organization. If the charity merges with another or worse, completely shuts down, your gift could fail. When you include other charities as a back-up to your original gift, you can feel secure knowing your gift is working in a way you intended it to.
Charity vs. Family Beneficiaries
If you have family that you would like to also include in your will, you will want to make sure you do not unintentionally divert your remaining funds away from the family members you want to benefit. If this scenario fits your intentions, consider leaving a percentage of your estate to your favorite charity rather than a specific dollar amount. This way, if your estate is reduced for any reason, you can be sure that your family beneficiaries will receive a proportionate amount as will the charity.
I suggest that if you want to leave money to a charity, you should contact that charity’s legacy department. Get the details on how you can best leave money to that charity.
Shape Your Legacy Through Estate Planning
Making decisions for your assets and your legacy for when you pass and creating the tools to carry them out can be complicated. The most heartbreaking thing is to watch a grieving family suffer from the unintended results of a poorly crafted will and plan.
Contact me today. I can review your financial situation, listen to your wishes, and offer you options to assure that things are structured to be distributed as you intend them to be. This could be among the most meaningful, lasting gifts you make. Let me help you get this done right. Call today.