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Donating: Meeting your philanthropic goals

One thing that may be very important to you is philanthropic giving. If it is, then you will want to make sure you include it in your estate plan. No matter how much you want to give, having it in your estate plan will help you give what you want to those who you feel need it most.

Many people want to leave behind a legacy. For some, this means reaching philanthropic goals during their lifetimes and even following death.

There is no question that many people give charitable donations for tax benefits, but others may be interested for genuine generational connections and to have a sense of personal fulfillment. Regardless of the reason, it is a good idea to look into which cause is right for you. It might be a research organization, adoption service or other community service. Whatever or whoever you wish to donate to can be included in your will.

After you know who you want to donate to, you need to decide what to donate. You may donate vehicles, property, money or other assets. It's up to you to decide what would benefit the charity most.

You can donate assets through your will, charitable lead and remainder trusts or through private foundations. You'll want to work with a financial planning professional and your attorney to decide which option is the right choice for your needs. At the end of the day, it is your decision to make regarding who receives what from you following your death; your charitable contribution is bound to be welcomed in any way it's given.

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