What things should I consider if I want to name a charity in my estate plan?

If you are considering naming a charity as a beneficiary of your estate plan, your generosity and kindness is admirable. However, carrying out this good deed is not without its complications. A donation to a charity after your passing must be handled in the proper manner in order to ensure that your wishes are carried out.

Points to Ponder

What should you consider if you want to name a charity as your beneficiary while you are creating your estate plan? Review the following questions:

  1. How long has the charity been in existence? Is it likely to continue for the long term?
  2. Is the charity easily located by your trustee or executor? For example, the YMCA in Anaheim is a well-known organization that your trustee or executor should have no trouble contacting. Some charities, however, are much smaller and less well known to others.
  3. Are you familiar and comfortable with the charity’s mission?
  4. Have you consulted with the charity to get a sense of how your donation might be used?
  5. Have you discussed with your attorney the pros and cons of making donations to charity while you are still living rather than as the beneficiary of your estate plan?
  6. Have you consulted with someone from the charity about any restrictions or information that may be needed in order to transfer your assets effectively to the organization after your death?

We understand that the process of creating an estate plan can be a bit overwhelming, and we encourage you to reach out to us any time you have questions. Send us an email or initiate a live chat at a time that is convenient for you, and we are happy to listen.