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How do you give to charities through your will?

Although you may donate money throughout your life, you may want to bless charities after your death, as well. This can usually be done through your will. However, as there as many different ways to donate after your death in Florida, you should be informed so that you can find the option that is best for you.

One way to donate is to establish a trust. Fidelity says that a charitable remainder trust gives money to charities after your death while giving you some income during your life. Some of the money accumulated in a trust in your lifetime may be given to charity, with the amount remaining after your death going directly to the charity of your choice. You could also set up a revocable trust and name an organization as the beneficiary.

Another option you may want to consider is a foundation. This requires some administration to oversee after your death, but it allows you to do some good for years afterward. With a foundation, you could start a scholarship program for a subject you are passionate about or give to charities and people that line up with criteria you determine.

Your retirement assets may also be donated posthumously. In some cases, your spouse may need to write a statement agreeing to this use of the assets. When you donate retirement assets, federal estate tax deductions usually apply to your estate. This allows organizations to receive your donation faster without recording it as taxable income. Your family also receives a lower estate tax.

If you choose one of these options, it is a good idea to explain the arrangement to your beneficiaries so that they can ensure that your assets are indeed donated to your chosen charity. You also may want to look into the tax ramifications of every option before committing to one.

This information is general in nature and should not be used in place of legal advice.

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