The law firm recently posted an article about charitable giving from The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys. It explainedthat in 2010, Americans gave more than $290 billion to charity and of that $212 billion was donated by individuals or household donors. It is incredible that Americans are so generous with their money.
Most people have charitable interests—whether it be to help seniors, care for poor children, or health care for the needy—however, mostpeople have difficulty selecting the individual charity. Or, if they do have a charity in mind, they may wonder about the charity’s performance and how it uses the money. First, to be sure a charity qualifies as a 501(c)3 (allowing for any income tax deduction), check out the IRS’ website. Then, begin by going online and reviewing the charities. There are websites like http://www2.guidestar.org/ or http://www.charitynavigator.org/ that allow you to review a charity’s performance and financial decisions. These websites inform you of how the charities spend their money.
Charitable giving can be done through a variety of ways. Many people simply write a check to the charity making an outright donation.Others create trusts, funds or foundations depending on their interests and the amount of money involved. For example, if you have a highly-appreciated asset, then you can transfer it to a charitable remainder trust. The trust will pay you every year and at the end of a specified number of years the asset will then transfer to the charity. If you are interested in giving to charities through an estate planning tool, then please contact our office at (650) 463-1550 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.