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How to establish a legacy of giving

For some in Nevada and throughout the country, charitable giving will be an important part of an estate plan. However, it is important to know how to incorporate it in a way that makes sense. First, an individual will want to consider the type of charities that are worth donating to. Typically, an individual will want to give to a cause that has a particular meaning in his or her life.

It may also be a worthwhile to give money to a group or several groups that deal with issues that will be universally important in the future. While individuals often give away money to help others, it also can create tax breaks for a deceased person's estate. Therefore, it is important to consider giving money or assets in a strategic manner. This applies both to the types of assets donated as well as the vehicle used to do so.

In some cases, a charity won't be able to accept anything other than cash or shares of stock. To make the most of such donations, it may be a good idea to create a charitable lead trust or establish a private foundation. This can help to provide for a good cause while also minimizing an estate's tax bill. As a general rule, giving highly appreciated assets has the greatest impact on accomplishing these dual goals.

It may be a good idea for individuals to begin trust planning as early as possible whether a person has millions of dollars or a few assets to pass to a child. An attorney may work with an individual to determine what type of trust meets his or her needs. If a trust already exists, an attorney may be able to review it.

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