Estate planning in Georgia sometimes goes beyond bequeathing family keepsakes and distributing accumulated assets among loved ones. Some individuals in the Peach State make arrangements to continue philanthropic giving even after they pass. From taking advantage of potential tax benefits to wishing to establish or continue a family legacy, there are many reasons to make charitable giving part of the wealth management and estate planning process when working with an attorney.
The recommended first step with estate planning that involves philanthropic causes is to select specific charities. Some individuals prefer to base this decision on causes that they have a history of supporting while others opt to focus on how they want to be remembered. Once philanthropic goals have been set, the next step for charitable individuals is to decide which assets they want to give now or after they pass.
Many people make donations in the form of cash; although, some charities also accept physical and/or financial assets that may include artwork or real estate. In some cases, making donations that include highly appreciated assets could result in substantial tax savings. Because not all charities are prepared to handle donations in this manner, philanthropic givers are advised to check with their designated charities in advance to see if non-liquid assets can be accepted.
The final step in making arrangements for charitable giving is to work with an attorney when drafting estate planning documents. One option is to include charitable details in a will; however, this may mean giving up certain tax benefits. With donor-advised funds and community foundations, the giver may not have full control over how donations or gifts are used or distributed. Another option an estate planning lawyer may suggest is to set up a charitable lead or charitable remainder trust to minimize issues with transfer taxes.