You can make gifts that take place at your death through your will (or your revocable trust if you are using it as the centerpiece of your estate planning). You must include the correct language in your will or trust and the tax consequences should be discussed with your advisor. Please share the following suggested language with your lawyer to assist in drafting a document that will achieve your charitable estate plans:
I give ____% of my residual estate to the Easton Choral Arts Society Inc., a charitable corporation located in Easton, Maryland [to be used for its general purposes] OR [to be added to its Endowment Fund].
I give [$ amount] , or [____shares of the stock of ____________] or [my real estate located at (description of property)] to the Easton Choral Arts Society Inc., a charitable corporation located in Easton, Maryland, [to be used for its general purposes] OR [to be added to its Endowment Fund].
You can also plan to give all or a portion of your estate to a contingent beneficiary in the event that a named beneficiary is not alive when you die. If your will or trust does not name a contingent beneficiary in the event your first named beneficiary dies, the gift may be distributed to persons not of your choosing.
A codicil is essentially an amendment to a will. Many times adding a specific bequest to your estate planning can easily be done by executing a codicil which includes a bequest as described above. If you are using a revocable trust for your planning, an amendment to the trust can accomplish the same result. Again, consult your lawyer for the appropriate form, but a codicil or trust amendment is sometimes a simple way to add a bequest to ECAS to your estate plan without redoing your entire will or trust.
There are many types of trusts that can be established during your life or upon your death to make charitable gifts and at the same time obtain income and estate tax advantages for you or your estate. Use of certain trusts which include charitable gifts maybe particularly attractive because they may reduce estate or inheritance taxes and/or provide an immediate income tax deduction when they are set up. Because the tax rules are complex, the establishment of a trust to make charitable gifts should be done in consultation with your estate planning lawyer.