It is possible to leave a legacy gift to a non-profit without upsetting your beneficiaries, but it could require careful planning. These gifts can come from any number of assets or programs. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks.

How can you donate?

There are many ways to leave money to your favorite charity. The following are only a few examples to discuss with a financial advisor:

  • Bequests: You can name a specific charity to receive a dollar amount or percentage of your assets after your death. This allows you the flexibility to change the language off the donation until your death. Your estate would receive the tax donation after your death.
  • Charitable Gift annuity: A contract that allows you to make a large tax-deductible charitable gift today and receive fixed annual payments during your lifetime. Older donors who plan to give more than $10,000 can be eligible for significant tax benefits. Slightly more complicated.
  • Life Insurance policy: If your life insurance policy has significant cash value, little to no loans and your beneficiaries would not otherwise depend on it, you can leave your life insurance policy to a charity.
  • Charitable Remainder/Lead trusts: These trusts leave a certain amount of money to your beneficiaries and the rest to a charity (or vice versa), up to a certain amount. This can happen over a designated period of years.
  • Pooled Income trust: These accounts allow several living donors to combine (pool) their donations for a public charity. Donors in turn receive investment income respective to the amount of their donation. After your death, profits return to the charity.

These are only a few of the many options available. If you have a an IRA, 401k or other investment portfolio, other options could be available to you. If it is important to you to leave a financial legacy for a charity, a financial advisor can help you set up the best plan for your individual situation.