A lot of people have criticisms with regard to the state of the world around them, and there are those who merely complain about it and there are others who take action in an effort to make a difference. This is something to keep in mind when you are shaping your legacy. It is not uncommon for individuals to have philanthropic urges as they sit back and contemplate their life’s work, and as a result charitable giving is a part of many legacy plans.
To give intelligently you are going to want to do some research into the charities that exist and make sure that you are comfortable with the way that they routinely use the contributions that they receive. Donors typically want to avoid top-heavy charities that carry extraordinary administrative costs at the expense of the causes that they are supposed to be supporting. But where do you find this information?
One very valuable resource that you can explore online is CharityNavigator.org. This site evaluates literally thousands of charities utilizing certain criteria, ultimately assigning a star rating to each one of them. They break it all down using financial performance metrics as well as accountability and transparency performance metrics. You can look into fundraising expenses, administrative expenses, expense and revenue growth, and organizational structure.
Another thing you may want to consider when you are trying to decide on charities would be whether or not they have attained tax exempt status in the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service. The Charities & Nonprofits section of the IRS website is the place to visit to obtain this information.
There are a number of ways that you can add a charitable giving component to your estate plan and gain tax advantages while you satisfy your desire to improve the conditions that we all share. To explore them in detail, simply arrange for a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney who has a background advising clients with philanthropic aims.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.
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