At this time of year, it can seem like giving to charity is something done with little forethought. It can require no more than dropping loose change in a bell ringer's bowl at the grocery store or putting a new toy in a designated box at the mall.
While anonymous giving like that is helpful, having a true charitable legacy requires more work and considerable forethought.
People who want to be remembered for being charitable benefactors, need to get comprehensive estate plans as the Port Huron Times Herald explains in "Plan today to make a difference tomorrow."
With an estate plan, you can set up your charitable giving to be ongoing after you pass away. If you want, you can leave one time gifts in your plan but also create new legal entities that will continue to give to charity indefinitely. You can even dictate what charities these entities will give to and for what purposes.
The entities can be relatively simple trusts or they can be complex family foundations.
Without proper planning, however, creating a charitable legacy is nearly impossible. Attempts to do so can easily fall afoul of the law and IRS regulations. Thus, if you would like to leave a charitable legacy, visit with an estate planning attorney to review your options.
Reference: Port Huron Times Herald (Nov. 25, 2016) "Plan today to make a difference tomorrow."