Charitable Giving Through Your Estate: How Floridians Can Leave a Legacy

An estate plan can allow you to leave assets to your children, family, and friends. However, there are many other things you can do with an estate plan, including leave assets to charity. In this article, we examine how to make charitable contributions in Florida through your estate plan

Charitable Giving Advantages

There are several advantages to charitable giving. For example, charitable giving can: 

  • Provide you with an opportunity to establish a legacy of generosity 
  • Alleviate your tax burden
  • Reduce the federal estate taxes owed by designated beneficiaries

Charitable Estate Planning Options

In Florida, there are various charitable estate planning options available. Specifically, an experienced estate planning lawyer can help you do any of the following:

Bequeath lifetime gifts: If you would like to make charitable donations during your lifetime, you may be eligible to obtain tax deductions. However, such deductions are limited and require the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney. 

Leave money to a charity in your will: A last will and testament is probably the most well-known estate planning document. With a will, you can designate a charity as a beneficiary, making this an easy way to establish a charitable legacy. However, although making charitable contributions with a will may be less time-consuming than some other estate planning options, any assets that you pass along through a will are subject to probate. 

Establish a charitable trust: With a charitable trust, you can designate a charity as the beneficiary of an irrevocable or revocable living trust. Trusts are advantageous for several reasons because they can benefit charities and heirs alike. Two commonly used types of charitable trusts are charitable remainder trusts and charitable lead trusts. 

(1) Charitable remainder trusts: A charitable remainder trust makes distributions to a lifetime income beneficiary, which can be you or a family member, and the named charity, which is the recipient of the trust’s remaining principal upon your death. Charitable remainder trusts aren’t subject to estate taxes or capital gains taxes, and they can be used to claim income tax deductions during the grantor’s lifetime.

(2) Charitable lead trusts: A charitable lead trust provides similar tax benefits to a charitable remainder trust. However, as opposed to a charitable remainder trust, a charitable lead trust provides periodic income payments to the designated charity, with the remaining principal going to the grantor’s heirs upon his or her death or following a set period of time. A charitable lead trust is useful for supporting a charitable organization while also ensuring that one’s loved ones receive a significant inheritance. 

Contact a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer 

If you are interested in creating a charitable legacy through your estate plan, the Law Office of Angela Siegel is here to help. When you come to us for help, attorney Angela Siegel will work with you to create an estate plan that ensures your charitable aims are accomplished. Please contact us today to arrange a consultation with our experienced Florida estate planning lawyer.