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How does estate planning help my philanthropic goals?

Many people in Georgia have philanthropic goals they try to fulfill during the course of their lives. Fortunately, estate planning allows you to continue your passion of giving to your favorite cause even after you pass away. Through the use of a will or other means, you can specify which of your assets should be passed to a charity, a foundation or other organization.

After you have selected which charity or foundation to give to, your next step is to figure out what you want to donate to that organization. Per Forbes, while many people donate large amounts of cash to charities, some donate other assets like securities. There are also individuals who pass along physical objects such as artwork, while others choose to donate a piece of real estate.

However, you want to check to see if the charity can accept anything other than cash. Generally, a small charity is not equipped to receive complex donations. Some cannot handle anything other than cash or possibly stocks. An organization like a community foundation is more likely to have the staff on hand to receive assets that are more tangible and less liquid in nature.

Leaving gifts to charities in your will is a simple route to go, however, it is not the only way. Some people opt to set up a trust for their gifts to decrease the amount of taxes that would likely need to be paid on transferring assets following the gifter's death. These trusts can take the form of charitable remainder trusts or charitable lead trusts, which break down the donations between specific beneficiaries and charities in a way that avoids taxes.

When it comes to giving, people have many options that they can incorporate into their estate planning. Because philanthropic goals will vary greatly from person to person, do not consider this article as legal advice. Read it only for general educational benefit on estate planning topics.

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