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Tips for using your will to give to charity

It’s hard to imagine giving up all of our assets during our lifetime. But it’s important to consider how they’ll be used once you’re gone. While it might be important to make your family is provided for after your passing, you may have room to give to others who are in need too.

Here are a few ways your will can help you make a difference for others even after your gone through charity.

Name a beneficiary

While we may think of beneficiaries as people, even animals can be named as beneficiaries in a will. If you’d like to donate to charity, one way to do it is to name your charity of choice as a remainder beneficiary. A remainder beneficiary gets the last cut of assets after all other debts and delegations are made.

In some cases, a charity may be named as a beneficiary instead of a person's child. For example, Burt Reynolds did not include his son in his will because the star had provided for his son in a trust.

Create a trust

If you create a trust, you may establish specific rules about how much a trustee receives, at what time they receive it and what they can do with it. If you'd like a trustee to donate to a charity on your behalf, you may include these directions within the trust.

Write provisions in your will

Similarly to a trust, your will can be very specific about your wishes. If you are concerned that donations to charity will impact other important matters in your will, you can stipulate that assets should only be donated once other matters are handled. You may also allow beneficiaries to choose the amount that is donated or require that donations are only made upon certain circumstances.

Learn the benefits

Designating funds to charity through your estate plan can grant you tax benefits during your lifetime while also ensuring that your help goes toward a good cause after you're gone.

To learn more about you’re the benefits and options that come along with donating to charity through your will, talk to an estate planning lawyer. An attorney can help you determine which options are right for you.

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