When I was young (and broke!), I said that if I was worth “x” number of dollars, I would bequeath money to charity, especially my church. I am not rich, but I have reached my goals. I am hesitant to give a dollar amount or percentage to charity in my Trust – what if my end of life care gets expensive and I have a lot less for heirs?
-Altruistic on Alderman
Dear Altruistic on Alderman:
This is a wonderful question. It is terrific that you would like to give to charity.
There are many people in Summerset who have included charitable organizations in their estate planning. I have drafted estate plans for your neighbors giving funds to religious organizations, the ASPCA, Wounded Warrior Project, the American Cancer Society, etc.
I also understand your concern about making these gifts if your financial situation changes for the worse. There are many ways to structure your charitable gifts, and I can’t describe them all here. However, as an example, a Trust could state that, if the estate exceeds a certain amount, gifts to charity will then be made. If the estate is less than a certain amount, the gifts will not be made.
This way, if there is “enough” for the heirs (and the Trustmaker decides what dollar amount is), then charitable gifts can be made (in an amount you state). This is just one idea – you should talk to an attorney about it to get personalized advice. Best of luck!