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How can you give to charity through your estate planning?

On Behalf of | Oct 1, 2023 | Estate Planning |

When developing an estate plan in the state of Texas, you may have many different beneficiaries you are considering leaving assets for in your will. However, you may also be curious about giving part of your estate to a charity you care about. This is a noble thing to do, and the state of Texas certainly allows individuals to take this action.

Types of charitable giving for an estate

There really aren’t many restrictions on what kinds of assets can be given to charity if you make your wishes known in your will. This can include:

  • cash
  • stocks
  • bonds
  • mutual funds
  • retirement accounts
  • automobiles
  • real estate

What can be given is not limited to this list. Even things like artwork, jewelry, clothing, furniture and memorabilia can be given to charity. However, if the deceased did not make this wish known, it’s very unlikely those items will go to any kind of charity through the probate process.

Other estate charitable giving options

There are also different financial vehicles you can create during estate planning with the goal of giving part of your estate to charity. This includes:

  • charitable gift annuities
  • charitable remainder unitrusts
  • charitable remainder annuity trusts
  • charitable lead annuity trusts

An annuity is a financial vehicle that pays out a fixed dollar amount to a beneficiary. In this case, it would be some kind of charity. There are also different variations from which you can choose. This includes a charitable remainder annuity trust, sometimes shortened to CRAT, which pays out a fixed income to a charitable beneficiary. A charitable remainder unitrust, CRUT, pays out income based on a fixed percentage of the assets concerned in total. Lastly, a charitable lead annuity trust pays out to a charity for a fixed period before distributing the rest of the funds to other beneficiaries like family.

Make sure to clearly state in your will which charities will receive which assets. Failure to do this will potentially cause your wishes not to be followed.