New York is bustling with current and aspiring philanthropists. Making gifts to charity is your chance to pass on your legacy and to support a cause important to you. Thankfully, there are a variety of estate planning strategies at your disposal that can be leveraged to pass on assets.

As with all things related to your estate plan, it should be customized to accomplish the goals you wish to achieve. Mapping this out with an NYC estate planning lawyer provides an opportunity for you to prioritize what is most important to you and to achieve your philanthropic ideals. By making a gift or multiple gifts to charities, you can make a lasting impact that supports others for years to come.

Here are a few options for creating a charitable giving plan as part of your estate.

Direct Gifts

This is the simplest form of gift. This may be made to individuals, charities, or other entities as part of a Will or a Trust. However, direct gifts (sometimes called “outright gifts”) utilize the fewest tax reduction strategies and provides limited control over how the gift is used by the recipient.

Donor Advised Funds

Some wealthier individuals may wish to set up a private foundation to provide the most control over their charitable gifts. However, setting up a foundation might require more work or funding that you would like. Donor advised funds are a great way to simplify your gifting. Charitable contributions are collected by the donor advised fund, which is a 501(c)(3) organization, and distributed to charities. You receive an immediate tax deduction on the amounts and assets contributed even if it is dispersed later. Although fund managers promise to follow your instructions and generally do so, you do give up legal control of the contributions once made.

Charitable Remainder Trusts

This involves creating a trust with the help of an NYC estate planning attorney. One created, you may donate property to it and make use of that property during your lifetime, either by use of the assets or through income generated by the assets in the trust. At the time you pass away, what remains in the trust is given to charities you have chosen.

Charitable Gift Annuities

If generating income for you is part of your plan, a charitable gift annuity allows you to purchase an annuity contract where a portion of the income received goes to you and the rest goes to charity. This type of annuity enables you to deduct the gift value right away when you purchase the annuity.

Charitable Lead Trust

If an income stream during your life isn’t important for you, a charitable lead trust will allow you to have some control over the asset. Once the trust is created, the trust makes payments to the charity of your choice for a period of years, after which it either comes back to you or to heirs you have selected.

Whether simple or advanced, I work with my clients to define strategies and plans that maximize your individual goals. Contact my office today to set up an initial consultation.