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Randy Ratliff
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Attorney Randy Ratliff

Charitable Planning

Trusts and Estates Attorney Advising Nashville Residents

We all have different goals and plans for our lives. When it comes to passing on our hard-earned assets, it is important to talk to an established Nashville estate planning lawyer who can help you understand the process of passing on wealth and assist you in the preparation of the documents and legal tools best designed to effectuate your goals, whether you wish to leave your entire estate to loved ones or whether you wish to provide for business succession or charitable planning. At the Randy Ratliff Law Offices, PLLC, we assist clients in a wide range of estate planning, elder law, and family law matters. We understand that these can be delicate subjects, and we work hard to put clients at ease as we discuss their goals, legal options, and related matters.

In talking to clients across Davidson and Williamson Counties, we have found that a substantial number of individuals and couples have questions about an appropriate way to donate a portion of their assets or wealth to a charitable organization. While each situation is unique, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, proper planning is very important. The ultimate amount received by the donee can vary substantially, based on the timing of the gift. The structure of the charitable donation can also affect both the impact on the donor and the amount that ultimately reaches the hands of the charity in question. Just as with other matters of asset protection planning, it is very important to speak to a qualified attorney about a strategy to carry out your charitable planning, based on your individual situation.

Giving a Charitable Donation to Benefit Both the Organization and the Benefactor’s Estate Plan

Charitable donations may be made both during one’s lifetime and as part of one’s estate plan. One common vehicle for a charitable gift as part of one’s estate plan is a simple bequest in a will. For example, a person drawing up his or her Last Will and Testament may include a provision that a set amount of money or a certain percentage of the estate will go to a church, service organization, or nonprofit medical facility. (Unfortunately, not all charities are operated ethically or with equal efficiency, so it is important to research any organizations to which you are considering making a sizeable donation.) Others prefer to make a charitable gift during their lifetime. Gifts may be monetary, or they may be in the form of personal property or real estate given to the charitable organization.

There are typically positive tax implications to both a charitable bequest at one’s death and a gift to charity made during one’s lifetime, but it takes careful planning to maximize the impact on the donor’s estate. Since tax and estate laws can be complex, it can be very difficult for the average Tennessee resident to determine an effective charitable giving plan in their circumstances. Talking to an estate planning attorney about options such as outright distributions to charity, charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts (CRTs), charitable lead trusts (CLTs), or the establishment of a private family foundation can be very helpful.

Discuss Your Charitable Planning Options with a Nashville Attorney

You have worked hard to compile the assets that you have, and you have a right to direct what happens to your assets not only during your lifetime but also after you have passed away. At the Randy Ratliff Law Offices, PLLC, we work with many types of families and estates of widely varying sizes. If you live in Davidson or Williamson Counties, including in Nashville, Antioch, Hermitage, Madison, Goodlettsville, Joelton, Franklin, Brentwood, or Cool Springs, you can schedule an appointment to discuss your estate and charitable planning by calling us at 615-656-8282 or contacting us online. We can also help answer your questions concerning powers of attorney, special needs trusts, and how to avoid probate, among other key estate planning and elder law concerns.