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Including charitable gifts in an estate plan

People in Virginia who are thinking about the future may consider how they can incorporate their favorite charities into their plans for their estates. Many people set goals for philanthropic and charitable giving during their lifetime, and they want it to continue after they have passed on. Philanthropy can provide important practical benefits in addition to a sense of well-being. By donating to charity, individuals can benefit from tax relief annually. This tax relief can also come as a boon to the beneficiaries of a person's estate.

When people think about the kind of giving they want to provide, they can make use of the estate planning process to help achieve their goals and leave a legacy of giving. Of course, it is important to choose a charity that is meaningful. People can select a meaningful cause by reviewing their past donations or focusing on a particular organization that has always been of interest. By choosing a charitable beneficiary with a high level of personal meaning, both the people planning their estates and their beneficiaries can feel good about their philanthropy.

Individuals can also think creatively about which items they would like to pass on to charity. While cash bequests are always welcome, other types of gifts can also help charities while providing tax benefits to other beneficiaries. Artwork and other highly valued items can make excellent charitable donations. While some smaller charities may not know how to deal with these kinds of gifts, donor-advised funds can help tailor a person's bequest.

Crafting a plan that reflects a person's goals and values while providing for his or her loved ones can provide that individual with peace of mind. An estate planning attorney can work with clients to draw up key estate documents like trusts, wills and powers of attorney that reflect their vision for the future.

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