You want your life and all your hard work to count for something, and you want your legacy to endure long after you’re gone. Because you have the ability to be generous to both your heirs and others who are less fortunate, you’re considering using one or more charitable trusts in your estate plans.
That’s certainly worthwhile — and it definitely reflects on your character. You just need to be careful about how you choose your charities.
3 things to consider when choosing the charities to support
Once you create a charitable trust, it’s typically irrevocable, so you want to choose your charity or charities wisely. Here are three important questions to ask before you commit:
- Is the charity qualified as a 501(c)(3) organization by the Internal Revenue Service? It must be in order for your charitable trust to be valid and operate as you intend.
- Is the charity transparent and accountable? Do you know how much of the donations made to the charity go to their cause and how much to administrative expenses? You don’t want your money to end up lining some already deep pockets instead of doing some good in the world.
- Does the charity align with your values, ideals or beliefs? For example, you may not want to give money to a charity that promotes an anti-gay agenda, even if they do provide shelter and services to the poor.
Ultimately, you are the only person who can decide who is deserving of the money you have to offer, but you definitely want to look long and hard at each charity you consider. Working with someone who has experience in charitable trusts can make it easier to get the results you want.