Monday, August 27, 2012

What You Need To Know About Charitable Giving

By Jameson Littman

If you are planning to give your assets to a charity or give them to your heirs, you need to find out everything involved in setting up a charitable trust. A charitable trust is a unique tax-exempt trust that is irrevocable. It is designed so that it fully complies with the federal tax laws on the books. These trusts can be made up of either assets or cash. The IRS has a list of regulations that must be followed when establishing a trust like this.

One of the more common questions people have is about how much money can be given to a beneficiary. In most cases, the minimum amount is 5% while the maximum amount is up to 50%. If you should decide to change who your main beneficiary is at a later time, there are a few things you can do to make some variations in where your money goes. You would have to classify them as a contingent beneficiary. In order to be completely removed as a beneficiary, the donor's last will and testament would have to clearly reflect this change.

If you think that some of this information is a little complex, don't panic. Others feel the same way. The best thing to do is to seek advice from an attorney. There is really no reason for you to have to spend hours a day reading up on how trusts are established and what exactly is involved in planning an estate. You just need a very basic understanding of these things and should know which questions to ask the experts in order to get informative answers.

It only takes a little time to understand some of the advantages of having a Charitable Remainder Trust in place. In the United States, most people know that if you have money, you will have to pay some taxes on it no matter what your specific situation is. In addition, capital gains taxes can be quite substantial as well. But a Charitable Remainder Trust is completely tax-exempt. You can reinvest the entire value of such a trust so that you will make more income for yourself without having to pay more taxes.

You have spent your life making and taking care of your funds, it makes sense to take a few steps to protect those assets so that they can be distributed in a way that suits you. An attorney that does estate planning will have the ability to make your choices set down legally and effectively. It will make certain that the most comes from your money with the least possible amount of taxes.

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