June 25, 2017 | seo Many people have causes and charities that they want to continue to support after they pass away. Without these generous gifts from people like you, many charities would simply go out of business. However, surprisingly to many people, leaving assets to charity is often a complicated process. Indeed, without proper estate planning, not only might your charitable gift be delayed and hit with taxes and fees, but it might not even make it to your charity of choice at all. Here, our estate planning team discusses some of the basics of charitable bequests. What Can I Leave to Charity? You have full control over what and how much you will leave to charity. Legally, there are ways for you to leave any of your assets to charity. Most often, individuals choose to donate: Money Stocks, bonds or other financial assets Real estate Other real property, including automobiles and luxury goods Ultimately, what you want to leave, and to whom, is a decision that should be made between you and your charity of choice. However, it is imperative that you are able to go through the appropriate legal process to leave your charitable gift. Otherwise, your charity may have a very hard time claiming your gift. In some cases, a third party may even try to make a claim against your estate, blocking the charity from obtaining your gift. Estate Planning: Understanding the Best Way to Donate When it comes to donating to charity, there is no single estate planning solution that works best for every situation. You and your estate planning lawyer will need to sit down and discuss your assets, the charity in question and your desires. Using that information, your lawyer will be able to determine the best way to donate your money or property so that you can have the maximum possible impact on the cause you care about. Some of the most common legal strategies that are used to make charitable bequests include: Designating a beneficiary in your will Creating your own private charitable foundation; or Creating a trust, such as a Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT) or a Charitable Lead Trust (CLT). Get Estate Planning Help Now If you want to leave a substantial amount of money or assets to a charity of your choice, please do not delay in speaking with an experienced estate planning attorney today. Your attorney will be able to help you make a gift in the most effective manner possible. If you find yourself in need of estate planning assistance, contact us online or give us a call at 425-227-8700.