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Estate planning for charitable donations upon death

The days of estates automatically going to family members when someone passes away seem to be a thing of the past. Many people nowadays are choosing to leave their full estate, or part of their estate, to charities and other organizations. Readers in Michigan might like to know about some of the reasons this shift is occurring.

One of the reasons for this shift in estate planning is that families are getting smaller. Some people are opting not to have children, so deciding what to do with assets involves more thought that simply leaving the estate to children. When this is the case, charities or other organizations might be named in the estate planning documents.

Some people choose to name organizations and charities in estate plans because of the impact the group has had on their life. A cancer patient or survivor, for example, might choose to leave items in the estate to a charity that deals with cancer patients or their family members.

Another reason why some people choose to leave their assets to organizations is that they want to avoid fights between family members. Some people think that leaving an inheritance to children, even adult children, might stop their children from being ambitious.

Anyone who wants to leave a portion of their estate to a charity or organization should make sure that those wishes are conveyed clearly in their estate plan. Knowing what provisions must be made and how to covey those wishes in accordance with Michigan law can help to assure that your wishes will be followed when you are gone.

Source: The Boston Globe, "In estate planning, family isn’t always first" Caitlin Kelly, May. 08, 2014

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