How to include your charitable causes in your living trust and estate plan

People are often invested deeply in their charitable causes. Some give their money. Some donate their time. Some share their talent. To them, their charitable causes are an important part of who they are.

It is important for such clients to discuss with their attorney whether they want that legacy to continue in their estate plan after their death. Here are some examples of living trust provisions that address helping your charitable causes after your death:

  • You can have your pattern of charitable giving continue after your death to your desired charity and for your desired charitable purpose.
  • Your lifetime charitable efforts could continue after your death with your bequest to pay for continuation of your charitable work.
  • Your charitable¬†causes or campaigns or efforts could be supported after your death with a thoughtfully planned bequest.
  • You could give your family members roles in your charitable bequests, if you wish, doing so in a manner that might promote their philanthropy (or that might inspire their passion for your charitable causes).

If you are uncertain whether there will be enough funds in your estate both for your family and for your charity, you could use any of these planning techniques:

  1. The charitable bequest occurs only if your total net worth exceeds a certain amount.
  2. The charitable bequest could equal the lesser of a certain dollar amount or x% of your net worth.
  3. The charitable bequest could apply only if certain family members die before you.

Copyright James J. Phillips January 2017