In Florida, it is generally easy and convenient to leave funds or other assets to charitable organizations. Many people believe that they cannot afford to give to their favorite charity without upsetting the other bequests to their family and friends. That is generally a false presumption because there are various tax benefits for charitable gifts that may possibly make up for any loss in one’s corpus. The best way to see what can be afforded and how to set it up is to meet with one’s estate planning attorney and, if needed, a qualified financial planning expert.
It is popular for people to donate funds to charity at the time of their death. Although it may appear to be complicated, the steps are actually fairly easy, after the determinations are made regarding gifting, tax considerations and the achievement of one’s estate planning goals. The gift at the time of death will be set forth in one’s will, where it can be easily measured against the gifts to a person’s heirs.
Qualified charities are exempt from both income and estate taxes. Running the gift through the will thus guarantees that it will be received intact and in the full amount gifted, by the charity. Another way of doing it is to create a charitable trust. This can be done while the person is still alive with the proviso that the funds are not passed on until the time of death.
The donor can in that way maintain some control over the investment aspects of the trust while he or she is alive. In Florida, there are numerous options regarding the specific details of how to make charitable donations and how much one can afford while maximizing the funding of family and friends. The whole process is complex enough to justify and warrant seeing an estate planning attorney to guide one through to a successful conclusion.