Marin Estate Planning Attorney Offers Advice for Charitable Giving in Estate Plans

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The current online Marin estate planning newsletter from the Law Offices of Julia P. Wald discusses why and how to include charitable gifts in an estate plan.

Adding charitable gifts to an estate plan can be a tool for teaching the next generation about the importance of philanthropy.

We, as a society, embrace the opportunity to make the holiday season special for all—whether it involves giving change to Salvation Army bell ringers, volunteering at a soup kitchen, or donating gifts to Toys-for-Tots

The season of giving is upon us, and many of Marin estate planning attorney Julia Wald’s clients are feeling the urge to include charities in their personal estate plans. In her current estate planning newsletter, Wald responds to some of the more common questions her clients are asking about how to make philanthropic pledges.

“We, as a society, embrace the opportunity to make the holiday season special for all—whether it involves giving change to Salvation Army bell ringers, volunteering at a soup kitchen, or donating gifts to Toys-for-Tots,” said Wald. “While we’re in the mood, this is a good time to consider various estate planning tools available to help our favorite charities.”

People who wish to make a difference by committing money to their favorite charity and those facing significant tax burdens are ideal candidates for philanthropy, according to Wald. She says there is a common misconception that making charitable gifts in an estate plan only makes sense for the super wealthy, but this could not be further from the truth. Although charitable giving is a tool used to reduce federal and state taxes, anyone who would like to support his or her favorite causes can add charitable gifts to an estate plan.

One of the concerns people raise when they add charitable giving to their will or trust is the impact the gift will have on the family members who would otherwise receive the money.

“I always ask: Will the beneficiaries really miss $1,000 or $10,000 out of the thousands or millions of dollars that they are going to inherit?” asked Wald. “It’s probably more important to teach those beneficiaries the importance of being charitable by example.”

Wald goes on to detail three tools typically used for including charitable gifts in estate documents: outright gifts, charitable remainder trusts, and charitable lead trusts. For each individual, determining which charitable estate planning tool is best will be based upon his or her charitable intentions and financial situation.

For more information on including charitable gifts in an estate plan and assistance with other estate planning needs, please contact the Law Offices of Julia P. Wald by phone at (415) 578-9881 or online at http://www.waldlawyers.com.

About the Law Offices of Julia P. Wald
The Law Offices of Julia P. Wald is a group of San Francisco Bay Area estate planning attorneys who specialize in probate, trusts and conservatorships. Their accredited San Rafael attorneys have extensive experience in many aspects of estate planning, including wills in Marin County and San Francisco Bay Area living trusts.

As a San Francisco Bay Area estate attorney, Wald is a member of the California State Bar and has been certified by the California Board of Certification as a Certified Specialist in Probate, Estate Planning, and Trust law since 1990. She has been practicing estate planning law in the San Francisco Bay Area for 25 years. The Law Offices of Julia P. Wald serves the northern San Francisco Bay Area from its office in Marin County.

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Julia Wald
The Law Offices of Julia P. Wald
(415) 578-9881
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