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Estate planning and the charitable trust

The estate planning process can be customized to meet your needs. If you simply want to ensure that your assets are evenly divided amongst your children, then a simple will may suffice. If you want to place conditions on the release of those assets and ensure that they provide long-term financial support, then one or more trusts may be of use to you. Even if you want to "disinherit" someone, then your estate plan needs to clearly indicate that intent.

Some Ohio residents find themselves wanting to give back to their communities and further the public good. An estate plan can help with this, too. A charitable trust allows assets to be invested for the benefit of a named charitable organization while allowing named beneficiaries to still receive income from those investments. That income may be in the form of a fixed dollar amount or a percentage of the trust's value.

But providing for both a charity and loved one is just one of the benefits of a charitable trust. These types of trusts also provide significant tax advantages. The property placed into a charitable trust will be exempt from the estate tax, and by placing assets into the trust you can take an immediate income tax deduction that, if you so choose, can be spread out over a number of years. Capital gains taxes can also be avoided when selling stocks and real estate as part of a charitable trust.

A charitable trust can be a great addition to your estate plan if you are interested in both providing for your beneficiaries and supporting a great cause. To determine how best to utilize this and other types of trusts, it may be best to sit down to discuss the matter with an experienced legal professional.

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