How to Donate to Charity in Your Will

With Planned Giving, You Can Make a Lasting Contribution

The estate planning process is a good time to consider the charities close to your heart. Is there an organization that changed your life? Is there a worthy cause that could benefit from support after you’re gone?

From a hospital that cared for you when you were sick or injured to a pet rescue that gave you a beloved friend, you can use your will as an opportunity to give back and make the world a better place. Here are some tips from our experienced estate planning lawyers.

Making a “Bequest” Through Your Will or Trust

Gifts made through your will are called “bequests.” They’re one of the most popular and flexible ways you can support your favorite causes. To make a bequest, start by talking with your estate planning attorney.

Your lawyer can include language in your will or trust that specifies that a gift be made to a charity as part of your estate plan. You have several options. For instance, you can:

  • Decide on a specific dollar amount to go to the charity.
  • Gift a certain percentage of your estate.
  • Gift from the balance of your estate after others receive their portions.
  • Designate certain assets (like the amount in one bank account) to be given to charity.

Tax Benefits and Considerations

Using your will to donate to your favorite charity can have tax benefits. Donations to qualified charities can reduce the size of your taxable estate, which can potentially lower estate taxes.

However, navigating the complexities of estate tax implications requires careful consideration. It’s a good idea to consult with a professional to help you understand how different forms of charitable giving can affect your tax situation. You may have other options available that can help maximize the impact of your gift.

Wills Aren’t the Only Option for Planned Giving

Wills are a good way to give to charity, but they aren’t the only option. Talk with your estate planning lawyer about doing an IRA charitable rollover instead of or in addition to planned giving in your will. An IRA charitable rollover allows people aged 70 ½ and older to reduce their taxable income by making a gift directly from their IRA.

Many people also give through donor-advised funds (DAFs). Through a DAF, you can give to charity while you’re alive, after you pass away or request that your children carry on your legacy. You start by making an initial, irrevocable gift to fund the DAF. The assets then grow tax-free. You then make annual recommendations on gifts to be made from your DAF. 

Get Estate Planning Advice From Our Experienced Attorneys

At White & Associates, we offer free consultations to all new clients. Call our Elk River, Minnesota law office at 763-241-0477 or contact our estate planning lawyers online. Our highly skilled team will schedule a time to discuss your estate plan and provide you with expert guidance throughout the process.

Related Posts