Becoming involved with a charity is often a meaningful and rewarding experience. Some estate planning clients choose to prepare an Anaheim trust modification in order to leave a certain portion of their estate to the charity of their choice. There are many potential reasons why the initial round of documents did not include this gift to a charity. Perhaps, at the time, the trust creator did not know whether the estate was large enough to be able to afford making such a gift while still providing for the other beneficiaries. Another possible reason is that the creator of the trust did not become involved with the charity until after creating the estate plan. Regardless of the reason, a trust amendment is an excellent way to accomplish charitable giving goals. The following are five important considerations when making this type of amendment:

  1. Consider whether you want to define your gift to the charity as a dollar amount. If so, consider the dollar amount while also keeping in mind your other estate planning goals and whether there will be sufficient assets to accomplish both. You may want to use a dollar amount since it will allow you to know exactly how much the charity is going to receive.
  2. Assess whether you want to define your gift as a percentage of your total estate. This may be beneficial because it ensures that both your loved ones and the charity receive a certain percentage of your estate.
  3. Consider giving your trustee a certain amount of discretion when it comes to deciding how much the charity should receive in light of the needs of your other beneficiaries.
  4. Describe the charity in as much detail as possible, including its legal name and location.
  5. Consider naming a backup charity or institution in the event that your chosen charity is no longer in existence at the time of your passing.

For more information about the process of amending your trust, view our free guide, The Ten Things You Must Know Before Creating (or Amending) Your Will or Trust. Contact the Law Office of James F. Roberts & Associates, APC, today to learn more. Our office of experienced Anaheim trust modification attorneys can be reached at (714) 459-5481.

James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm
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