Give to charity after you pass away

Photo by Katt Yukawa

A charitable legacy

If you do any charitable work, plan to give to charity, or if there are any causes that you support, we have great news. You could continue all that even from beyond the grave. For instance, you might ask people to make a donation to a charity in your name. And that either in addition to or in lieu of flowers or other gifts. This will help others while providing a bit of comfort to your loved ones.

Let’s have a look at all the different ways that you can work on your charitable legacy!

How to set up a donation fund in your name

Numerous foundations, charities and non-profit organizations allow you to make online gifts through their websites. On the donation page, a donor can specify the nature of the gift, using terms such as “in memory of” or “in honor of”. This allows the organization to know that the gift is in memory of or in honor of someone.

You can also establish a memorial fund in your name by making a direct donation to an organization or group of your choosing. Contact that organization directly and let them know that you want to establish a memorial fund in your name. Most non-profit organizations will have simple protocols in place for this.

Naming a charity as a beneficiary can be an excellent way to leave a lasting impact on the world

In most cases, to qualify as a beneficiary you must either be a blood relative or someone the deceased has explicitly handpicked. However, that doesn’t only apply to people but organizations too. Let’s say you want your estate to benefit an organization or cause of your choice – a non-profit or charity, for instance. You can choose to include that entity in your will or trust as a beneficiary.

Want to leave a donation to a charity beneficiary as part of your final wishes? These processes can be tricky, so we’ve written this guide to help you navigate them!

Creating a gift to a charity after your death is as simple as choosing a cause you care about. And then just deciding how much of your estate to leave to the charity and including it in your will.

Consider the charity or cause in need of your donation

When you’re deciding what charity or cause to support, be sure you’ve identified the organization you actually want to support. It’s easy to be confused by all the different places that need your help.

Some charities have regional offices or chapters. You can choose to support the national organization as a whole, or you can opt to support the local chapter directly.

For instance, if you live in the US, check a charity’s full legal name and Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). Most charities include this information on their website, but you can also find it on sites that aggregate this information.

Decide what exactly you want to give to charity

Consider the type of gift you plan on leaving. You can give:

  • A specific dollar amount
  • Certain belongings
  • A percentage of your estate

Before you make a valuable gift (10,000 USD and above), or expensive assets (houses or cars), contact the charity. This will help ensure the process is seamless and prevent any unexpected complications.

It's always a good idea to inform charity beneficiaries of your wishes

Even if your donation or gift isn’t that valuable, it’s always a good idea to let charities know of your charitable bequest. Not only do they love to hear from planned donors, but it gives them an opportunity to build a connection and express gratitude.

Taking a few extra minutes to contact a charity helps ensure your gift is as successful as possible. As we mentioned above, make sure you give the correct legal name and EIN.

Contacting the organization is a good way to make sure your gift ends up for the cause you envisioned. It’s common to leave a gift for a specific use, like donating to a cancer foundation and directing your gift be used to support families affected by cancer. But if the charitable organization you’re leaving money to focuses only on researching cures and doesn’t engage in family support, your intended use might not be possible. In cases like that, it could lead to a charity declining your gift. You can easily avoid these types of complications by working with the charity beforehand.

Final Thoughts

As part of your estate plan, you may wish to include charitable donations that will go into effect after you pass away. Most charitable organizations are more than happy to help with this process: their websites offer helpful information and even give sample gift language.

Many organizations have experts who can help you plan for a charitable gift that’s right for you and your family. Such gifts can provide tax benefits and other rewards.

Myend’s Last Will and Testament offers you extended options to make donations to charities. You can bequest belongings to such an organization, leave them cash or even a piece of your entire estate. Create your own account here, completely free of charge and experience the end-of-life services of the future.

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Myend is not a law firm, it does not engage in the practice of law, and it does not render any official legal advice. Therefore, you are hereby advised to seek your own legal counsel regarding any legal issues. Myend’s articles are meant to be taken as suggestions and therefore Myend carries no responsibility for the user’s actions.