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Donating to charity: Donating after death

Mar 30, 2018 | Estate Planning

If you’re an avid golfer or love participating in your community’s events, then you may be someone who wants to give to charity following your death. Whether or not your family agrees with your decision, this is something that could give you great peace. You love knowing that you’re leaving something for others who may need it more than those you’re closest to.

Creating your legacy doesn’t have to cost everything you own, and you certainly still have the potential to leave plenty to your relatives. Here’s what to do if you’re thinking about donating to a charity upon death.

1. Set up a donation in your name

Donors have a right, in most cases, to specify what the gift is for. For instance, you could state that it is in “memory of” or a “tribute to” your life. Any donor can put a name in that space. For example, if you donate $100,000 to a local school, you may be listed on a tribute wall where it states “In memory of John Doe.”

You may also want to consider setting up a fund for this donation prior to your funeral. If people wish to donate to you or your family in some way, they can do so by sending money to the fund in your name. A memorial fund is an excellent way to get even more for your charity of choice.

2. Keep in mind the charities to which you’re interested in donating

If you have more than one charity to which you’d like to leave funds, make this clear in your will. Some people choose to give before death to avoid trouble with the donation itself, but it’s just as easy to set up a direct contribution for each party. Your attorney can walk you through the steps, so the charities that you respect get the money you intended for them.

3. Inform your family

If you want to make sure there are no significant conflicts involving your donations, it’s a good idea to talk to any beneficiaries you have. Talk to your children and close relatives about what you want to see done with specific funds. You may wish to explain why you did or did not include them in your will. For example, those who are financially wealthy may not need any money, whereas the charity that you want to fund is in dire need to continue supporting the community.

These are a few things to think about if you plan to donate to a charity, or several charities, following your death. It’s something that a charity will appreciate considerably and it is easy to set up. Your attorney can help you make sure all the appropriate documents are in order.