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Using estate planning to make charitable donations

Michigan residents have a lot to consider when they think about their estate plans. One of the biggest factors to look into is how they want their property distributed after their deaths. Certainly, family members and close friends come to mind, but some individuals may also be interested in using estate planning to leave some of their estate assets to charitable organizations.

Luckily, individuals interested in such giving have several options to consider for doing so. If people want a fairly easy way of bequeathing assets to charity, they can name the organizations and bequests in their wills. Wills are common places to leave details regarding who should obtain what property after a person’s death. Even when using a will to do so, estates can still benefit from a reduction in estate taxes.

In some cases, individuals could even designate specific accounts to pass directly to their desired organizations. Certain accounts, like retirement accounts, can have beneficiary designations made so that the accounts do not have to go through probate proceedings. If a person wants to donate a retirement fund or other payable-on-death account, he or she could name a charity as the beneficiary. Because charities do not face income or estate taxes, the chosen organization would obtain the entirety of the account’s value.

Charitable giving is an act that many people take advantage of while they are alive. It may be useful to many Michigan residents to know that the giving does not have to end when their lives do. Individuals interested in gaining more information about estate planning tools that can be used for this type of giving may want to speak with their legal counsel.