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Charities and estate planning

Volunteerism and giving are important to many Colorado residents. In fact, upon retirement, many individuals devote their time and energy to serving others. Volunteers can often be found serving in hospitals, schools and other organizations throughout their community. In an effort to continue this legacy of service, some individuals look to estate planning as another way to make an impact.

Perhaps the easiest way to address charitable giving upon one's death is through a will. One or more charities can be included as beneficiaries. The benefit to this form of giving is that it may minimize the tax liability of the estate and thus maximize the estate's value for all heirs.

Another method for charitable giving that some Colorado residents find appropriate is through their retirement account. It may be possible to list one or more charities as the beneficiary for this account. Since charities are exempt from income taxes and estate taxes, this will maximize the amount available to the charity.

A charitable trust is also an option for addressing charitable giving as a part of the estate plan. Utilizing this method, a trust is established in the charity's name. This offers the individual the ability to transfer assets to the trust while still retaining the benefit of these assets until such time as the trust is transferred to the charity.

Time and money are critical to the operation and continuation of charities throughout Colorado. Many individuals choose to support these organizations throughout their lives. Some are even finding it worthwhile to include these organizations as a part of their estate planning.

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