As the holidays approach, many people’s minds go to charitable giving. They might be inspired to give by the spirit of the holidays. Or, with the year’s end approaching, their attention may be drawn back to their goals for the year on giving. The reasons why a person may be driven to give during the holidays can vary a lot.
More on Charitable Giving
Whatever the reasons behind it, quite a bit of charitable giving happens this time of year. According to one estimate, the last three months of the year see over a third (around 34 percent) of the year’s total giving.
Now, when it comes to holiday giving, good preparation can be key. It can help with ensuring one’s giving is actually achieving the goals they have for it and with stretching out one’s charitable dollar. Among the things a person may want to research carefully about the various charities they are thinking of giving to over the holidays are: their legitimacy, what they do with donations, what can be done in addition to giving to support their work and whether donations to them would be tax-deductible.
Since giving may already be on the mind, people may also find this time of year to be a good time to think about their long-term plans for giving, including what they want to have happen regarding giving after they pass away. As with holiday giving, solid preparation can be critical on this front. There are a variety of goals a long-term giving plan could be aimed at, and what kind of estate planning devices (such as trusts) a person sets up in relation to giving can have big impacts on how good of a position they and their estate are in to accomplish these goals.
During the year’s close (or any other time of the year), estate planning lawyers can assist individuals with developing a long-term giving plan for their estate plan or with updating a preexisting plan to account for changes in their giving circumstances or goals.
Source: GoUpstate.com, "Biz Bits: 'Tis the season for charitable giving; 5 tips for savvy donors,” Oct. 22, 2016
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