Estate planning allows a person to make decisions about how to distribute his or her assets in a will. Often, heirs become the beneficiaries of a will. However, the will could leave money or other property to an Indiana charity. The testator may do what he or she wishes when crafting a last will and testament, including making substantial donations. Some people who are weighing decisions about charitable giving in a will may want to think things through carefully.
Leaving assets to a favorite charity
The most basic way to donate money to a charity involves naming the charity as a beneficiary in a will and directing cash to it. Cash accounts include more than money markets, savings and checking accounts. Stocks and bonds could be left to the charity as well.
Cash isn’t the only asset available to charities. If the testator wants to leave real estate to a charity, doing so may be possible.
The testator may wish to think about ordering the liquidation of certain assets before distributing them. The will could mandate the sale of a house and direct that the funds go to a stated charity. This way, the charity does not become burdened with selling the property.
Other charitable estate planning items to consider
Other steps are possible when intending to leave assets to charity. A charitable organization may find itself named as a beneficiary on individual retirement accounts, for example. The same may be possible with brokerage or checking accounts as well.
Individuals can take some actions long before they pass away. Directing gifts to a charity, including a contribution of publicly traded stocks, may provide the entity with immediate benefits.
It is also worth noting that a will is not the only way to address asset distributions. A trust, possibly a revocable one, could support a preferred organization or cause.
Estate planning might entail avoiding potential problems. Heirs may attempt to challenge a will that leaves a significant amount to a charity. Challenging a will could lead to bitter litigation, so it may be advisable for someone to discuss charitable contributions while alive and long before the will enters probate.
Estate planning involving wills or trusts could support charitable giving. An attorney may assist with the process.