Charitable giving is a great way to make a lasting impact on causes you care about and can be an important part of your estate plan. While it takes some effort to ensure that your wishes are carried out, it can be a rewarding experience for both you and the beneficiaries of your generosity.

Satisfied Senior Couple,

Here are some tips for making charitable giving part of your estate plan:

1. Decide which charities you want to support.

Think about which causes you’re passionate about and which charities you want to support with your donations. Consider which organizations are making an impact in your community or on a larger scale. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, research the charities to make sure they meet the criteria you’re looking for.

2. Determine how much you want to give.

Once you’ve chosen the charities you want to support, decide how much money you want to donate. This can be a percentage of your estate, a fixed amount, or a combination of both. Consider any special needs the charities may have, such as food for a soup kitchen or supplies for an animal shelter.

3. Put it in writing.

In order for your wishes to be legally binding, you need to make sure they’re written down. Consult an estate planning attorney to ensure your wishes are carried out according to the law.

4. Choose your beneficiaries.

You can designate a specific charity as a beneficiary of your estate or you can designate multiple charities. You can also designate a charity to receive a portion of your estate, such as 10 percent or 20 percent.

5. Set up a charitable trust.

Setting up a charitable trust is a great way to ensure that the funds you’ve set aside for charitable giving are used for the cause you intended. The trust will also provide tax benefits for you and your heirs.

6. Consider a charitable remainder trust.

A charitable remainder trust is a great way to provide both financial support to the charity of your choice and financial security for your heirs. A charitable remainder trust allows you to donate assets to a trust and name a charity as the beneficiary. Your heirs will receive the remainder of the trust assets after the charity has received its share.

7. Speak with an Estate planning attorney.

If you’re not sure how to include charitable giving in your estate plan, speak with an attorney. They can help you determine the best course of action for your situation and provide advice on how to maximize the benefits of your charitable giving.

Estate planning can be a complicated process, but with the right guidance, you can ensure that your wishes are carried out and that the charities you care about will benefit from your generosity. Charitable giving is an important part of many estate plans and can make a lasting impact on the causes you care about.