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James A. Jones, Attorney At Law
Plan Today, Peace of Mind Tomorrow

Charitable giving can be part of an estate plan

The point of an estate plan is to create the means for an efficient transition of assets upon one's passing. Among other issues that estate planning can address is the continuation of charitable giving initiated during one's life or the creation of a new gift to a favored cause or charity. There are many ways that estate owners in Washington can accomplish charitable goals.

Most would consider philanthropic giving to be a product of high net worth individuals. While this is largely true, even more modest estates can establish a legacy that may extend onward for generations to come. Therefore, deciding on an appropriate recipient is important.

Many estate owners have groups they have worked with for years, and some will choose a charity based on a favored cause. If a long-term illness or disease has played a role in the person's passing, setting up a fund for research into treatment and ultimately a cure can be meaningful. When the charity has been settled, the nature and scope of the assets so directed must be determined. Cash is the obvious choice, but many charities can work with prospective givers to transfer other assets such as artwork, other valuables or real estate.

Estate planning encompasses a wide variety of issues that impact both what happens after death but also matters during one's lifetime. A trust is a particularly useful vehicle to help reduce taxes, maintain privacy throughout the process and reduce or eliminate the need for probate. An estate planning lawyer can explain how being proactive now can provide peace of mind and other benefits down the road.

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