Giving to others and supporting charities often brings a tremendous sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Whether you’ve given to charity your entire life or are only now considering supporting a worthy cause, you may want to consider creating a charitable trust as part of your estate plan. Through a charitable trust you can support causes or values which are important to you and you don’t need to be a wealthy person to establish one. But before you speak to your estate planning attorney about creating a trust, you should ask yourself a couple of key questions which may help you determine if a charitable trust is right for you.
Question 1. What causes inspire you the most?
Charitable trusts are ideal for people who wish to leave a legacy that supports broad causes or ongoing needs. For example, if you want to inspire children to become leaders in the community, this is not a cause that will fade away over time. This is the ideal type of cause a charitable trust can support. On the other hand, if your alma mater needs donations to improve aging facilities, a charitable trust may not be the best way to support this cause. In this situation, a single charitable donation is likely a better gift.
Question 2. How do you want to be remembered?
Leaving a charitable gift is also about the kind of legacy you want to leave behind. For some people, donating to a closely cherished cause is ideal because they feel so strongly about it. For others, donating to various causes which support ideals or values close to your heart is a better choice. A charitable trust can help maintain whatever legacy you wish to create, while individual gifts may be better for those who are less concerned about a legacy.