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Fisher Law LLC Boston Estate Planning Lawyer
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Can I Leave Money To Charity Through My Will?


Are you interested in supporting a good cause through your estate? You may be wondering: Can I leave money to a charity using my Will? The short answer is “yes”—though, depending on the amount and the purpose, a charitable trust can sometimes be a better option. Within this article, our Boston estate planning attorney explains the key points to know about leaving money or property to a charity as part of your estate plan in Massachusetts.

You Can Leave Money or Property to a Charity Through Your Will 

As a starting point, it is important to emphasize that you can absolutely use your Will to leave money or property to benefit a charity. Your Will is your opportunity to choose what happens to your assets. By including a charity in your Will, you can make a significant contribution to a cause close to your heart. Through a properly drafted Will in Massachusetts, a testator can specify the amount of money or the specific property he or she wishes to donate. It could be cash, stocks, real estate, or other assets.  Charitable gifts made through a Last Will and Testament  will be distributed during probate. 

A Trust May Be a More Effective, Efficient Option to Support a Good Cause 

A Will can be a great way to leave a gift to a charitable organization. That being said, it is not always the best option in Massachusetts. For larger or more complex bequests, a trust is often more effective and efficient. There are two main types of charitable trusts:

  • Charitable Lead Trust: Investopedia explains that a charitable lead trust or CLT allows you to earmark assets for a charity for a specific period. During this time, the charity receives the income generated by these assets. After the term ends, the remaining assets can be passed on to your beneficiaries. The setup is ideal if you wish to support a charity now—yet still want to preserve wealth for your heirs. There may be some tax benefits.
  • Charitable Remainder Trust: As explained by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a charitable remainder trust or CRT involves initially receiving income from the trust and then leaving the remainder to the charity. You transfer assets into the trust, which then pays you or other named individuals a steady income for life or for a pre-set term. Upon the trust’s termination, the remaining assets go to the charity. CRTs are beneficial for those who need income during their retirement years but still want to make a substantial charitable contribution with what they have left at the end. 

Contact Our Boston Estate Planning Law Firm Today

At Fisher Law LLC, our Boston estate planning attorneys have the professional experience and knowledge relating to charitable gifts and other, ancillary topics, including tax issues, that will assist you in achieving your unique charitable objectives.   If you have any questions about leaving money or property to charity, please call us now or contact us online for a confidential case review. Our law firm provides tailored services throughout the Greater Boston area,  including  Suffolk County, Middlesex County, Norfolk County and Plymouth County.

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