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Contribute to a favorite cause through a charitable trust

Many people in Saint Paul have a favorite charity, whether it is a school, a museum, a hospital or a non-profit organization. In fact, Charity Navigator reports nationwide that, in 2016, almost $400 billion was given to charities. While some people simply write a check or give supplies to their favorite charity during their lifetime, others choose to set up a charitable trust to benefit their favorite charity after they pass on.

When it comes to making a charitable trust, it is important for one's goals to be outlined. For example, some people may want to make a lump-sum gift, while others prefer to give numerous donations over the course of time or to a number of causes. Also, it is important to make sure family members understand your intentions when it comes to setting up a charitable trust.

A charitable trust can be set up in a way that allows someone to donate to a favorite charity upon their death or the death of their spouse, while still providing them with retirement income. This allows the creator of the trust to retain control over their assets. However, it is important that such documents be legally sound and enforceable. Therefore, it may be wise to have an attorney draft a charitable trust to ensure it lawfully accomplishes what you want it to. Other professionals, such as a financial adviser, can also be consulted.

Donating to a favorite charity, either during one's lifetime or through a charitable trust, can be a very satisfying experience. Many people have causes that are important to them, and through a charitable trust, they can see that these causes have the resources needed to accomplish their goals.

Source: Morning Star, "7 Tips for Better Charitable Giving," John F. Wasik, July 29, 2017

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