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Norwood Estate Planning Lawyer > Blog > Estate Planning Attorney > Planning To Leave Money Or Property To Charity? Know Your Estate Planning Options

Planning To Leave Money Or Property To Charity? Know Your Estate Planning Options


Leaving money or property to support a good cause is important to many people. According to data from the National Philanthropic Trust (NPT), Americans gave nearly $500 billion to charitable causes in 2019 alone. With the proper estate planning strategy, you can be sure that your preferred charitable organization will get the absolute most out of your generosity. In this article, our Westwood estate planning attorneys provides an overview of your options for charitable giving.

Your Guide to Options for Charitable Giving as Part of Your Estate Plan 

The best way to leave money or property to a charitable organization depends on a number of different factors, including your goals and your financial position. Here is an overview of the most common options for charitable giving through an estate plan in Massachusetts:

  • Naming a Charity in a Will: One way to donate to a charity through your estate is to include the organization in your will. This allows you to specify exactly how much of your assets you would like to donate to the charity and how you would like the donation to be used. Though, it is not always the most financially-effective way to leave money to charity.
  • Naming a Charity as a Beneficiary: Another option is to name a charity as a beneficiary of your assets. This can be done through a variety of financial instruments, such as a life insurance policy, a retirement account, or a bank account. By naming the charity as a beneficiary, you can ensure that your assets go directly to the charity after your death, rather than being subject to probate.
  • IRA Charitable Rollover (Tax-Free Gift): Based on relatively recent changes to the law, you can give tax free money to a charity directly out of your IRA if you are at least 70.5 years of age. It is called an IRA charitable rollover. The maximum tax-free IRA contribution to a charity is $100,000 per year.
  • Setting Up a Charitable Lead Trust: A charitable lead trust allows you to donate a portion of your assets to a charity for a set period of time, after which the remaining assets are returned to you or your beneficiaries.
  • Setting Up a Charitable Remainder Trust: A charitable remainder trust is similar to a charitable lead trust, but it allows you to receive income from the trust for a set period of time before the remaining assets are donated to the charity.

An estate plan should always be customized to meet the unique needs of a person and their family. A Massachusetts estate planning attorney with experience handling charitable giving issues can help you put the best structure in place to get the most out of your generosity.

Get Help From an Estate Planning Attorney in Massachusetts

At Fisher Law LLC, our Westwood estate planning attorneys are an experienced advocate for clients. If you want more information about your options for charitable giving, we can help. Contact our legal team today for a confidential consultation. Our estate planning law firm serves clients in Westwood, Norfolk County, and throughout the region, including in Norwood, Walpole, Dedham, and Boston.



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