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Charitable trusts and estate planning

On Behalf of | Oct 28, 2020 | Estate Planning |

Many wealthy people in New Hampshire want to make a positive impact on the world. One of the ways to do that is via a charitable trust. Another positive benefit of charitable trusts is that they offer great tax benefits, which is one reason they often feature heavily in the estate plans of high net worth individuals.

What charitable trusts do

As the name suggests, charitable trusts set assets aside to be used for charitable endeavors. There are two different ways they do this. First, the assets may be offered to a charity for a specific amount of time. The charity manages the investments. This is how the charitable trust funding the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is structured. Fifty years after their deaths, the funds will become the property of their charity. This is known as a remainder trust.

The other form of charitable trust is a lead trust. Instead of a charity managing the trust for a period of time, the donor does. Interest from the funds in the trust may not all go to the charity; some of it can pass to other beneficiaries named by the donor.

Charitable trusts are a wonderful option for estate planning. They offer tax breaks to the donors who set them up, and they provide charities with funds. The federal government has long understood that incentivizing people to do good privately, particularly successful business people who understand the importance of efficiency, helps the whole country.

Setting up a trust can be complicated, so it may be a good idea to find an attorney who has experience with estate planning to pursue this option. An attorney may help an individual with a high net worth make the trust setup process painless.

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