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Charitable wills and trusts help you support non-profit efforts

Did you know that you do not have to be a millionaire to set up an estate plan to benefit your favorite charity? Many Massachusetts residents set up wills and trusts to accommodate the causes they most value -- and most of the donors are not independently wealthy. How can charitable trust provide your favorite organization with the financial resources you want to distribute?

A charitable trust is one of the best funding mechanisms for your estate plan if you want to leave money to a non-profit. Before you start drafting your estate plan, though, you should consider two factors: What do you want to leave to the organization, and which values do you want to espouse?

Experts call a charitable trust a "heart issue" because it involves using your instincts and your passion to identify the organization that is most deserving of your funds.

You have a few options when it comes to charitable trusts. First, a charitable lead trust is designed to provide your favorite organization with financial benefits for a set period of time. This can be established while you are still living. After your death, the remaining funds go to a non-charitable beneficiary, such as children. A charitable remainder trust, on the other hand, allows the organization to recover the remaining funds at the end of the term.

These are just two of the options you may have when it comes to setting up a charitable trust for your favorite nonprofit. Consulting an attorney can help you find the perfect trust options for your personal needs. Choosing to enlist the help of a trust administration professional can help you get the resources you want to distribute into the right hands after your death.

Source:, "Setting up a charitable trust," Julie Sturgeon, accessed April 07, 2017

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