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Estate planning may also include planned giving

The way that individuals approach the topic of inheritances may be different among generational groups, according to a recent article. Specifically, the approach to estate planning may be different among baby boomers, same-sex and younger couples. Such groups may have smaller families or even no children. For them, creating a legacy through planned gifts might be one of their primary estate planning considerations.

When planning a will or trust, individuals considering a philanthropic donation may start by thinking of the bigger picture. That process may involve listing certain values that an individual believes are important, and then identifying organizations that best reflect those values. 

It’s better to start the process early. For example, the perspective of a few years will provide an opportunity to evaluate how potential charitable gift recipients manage their operations. That observation time may also provide insight into the overhead expenses of an entity, allowing individuals to decide whether the charitable organization is efficiently run and committed to its mission statement.

An attorney that is knowledgeable about estate planning knows that certain types of wills and trusts may be better suited to accomplishing an individual’s intentions. Perhaps an individual wants to create a scholarship program for a favorite charity or an alma mater. Instead of making a lump sum donation, an individual might create a trust, and designate an attorney or other trustee to handle the administration of that trust.  

From estate planning to estate administration, it is important to understand the different legal instruments that are available. There may be administrative requirements and tax consequences specific to each one. With the help of an attorney, an individual can create an estate plan that accomplishes his or her goals.

Source: The New York Times, “In Estate Planning, Family Isn’t Always First,” Caitlin Kelly, May 2, 2014

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