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5 Tips for Charitable Giving in a Texas Estate Plan

Posted on in Estate Planning and Probate

San Antonio estate planning lawyerUsing a portion of your estate to support a cause you believe in can be an excellent way to build a lasting legacy. When you leave money or property to a charity in an estate plan, you can keep making the world a better place long after you are gone. Your surviving loved ones will have the benefit of seeing the good you are still doing every day. The benefits of posthumous charitable giving are numerous. You will have options for how you go about designating a portion of your estate for charity. It is a good idea to talk over your options with a qualified estate planning lawyer who can help you make the most of any charitable giving you use your estate plan to accomplish. 

What You Should Know About Charitable Giving Through Estate Planning

Setting up your estate plan so that some funds go to a good cause does not have to be difficult or complicated, although you should have an attorney assist you. If you are considering using your estate to help out a charitable organization, some things to be aware of include: 

  • Tax benefits - Making a testamentary gift to a qualified nonprofit can help reduce any tax burdens on your estate. 
  • Types of gifts - The gift you make to a charity does not have to be strictly monetary. Many charities accept or even ask for other types of property to be donated. You could consider leaving property like clothing, furniture, or a vehicle to the organization of your choice. 
  • Put it in writing - Even if you believe that your surviving loved ones - often adult children - can be trusted to comply with your wishes and share a portion of your estate funds with your favorite charity, it is still a good idea to work your planned gift directly into your estate plan. Otherwise, your intention is not legally enforceable and you cannot be sure that your preferred cause will ever see a dime. 
  • Give any amount - You do not have to be a wealthy philanthropist to make a difference. Testamentary gifts to charity do not have to be anything grand. Even a couple hundred dollars or some gently used items could make a difference for your favorite nonprofit and those it serves. 
  • You have options - There are multiple different strategies for charitable giving in an estate plan. You can choose between making a one-time gift in a will, creating a charitable trust, or earmarking a portion of an existing trust to distribute money for charitable purposes over time. 

Your attorney will be able to help make sure you understand all your options for using your estate to benefit a cause you believe in. 

Contact a Texas Estate Planning Attorney

If you are interested in charitable giving through your estate plan, Geoff Mayfield, Attorney at Law can help achieve your goal. Our experienced Bexar County Estate Planning Lawyers are well-versed in a number of charitable giving strategies. Call us at 210-535-0870 for a free consultation. 



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