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What is a charitable trust?

On Behalf of | Nov 29, 2021 | Trusts

Estate planning can be complicated. Often, New York residents wish to leave assets to their loved ones, such as family members and close friends. They may choose to pass property onto organizations or even charities. When a person wishes to create a charitable trust, they must follow the laws of the state.

The best way to learn about charitable trusts, trusts in general and other estate planning options is to speak with a legal professional who practices in those areas of New York law. However, this post will provide an overview of the topic and some basic information on charitable trusts.

What kinds of organizations can benefit from charitable trusts?

Charities are not for profit entities. They are benevolent in nature, and often fall into several common categories of operation:

  • Religious organizations and faith groups
  • Educational institutions and organizations
  • Charities and non-profit groups
  • Other organizations with benevolent purposes

If an organization works to make money for itself, it is probably not eligible to benefit from a charitable trust.

How long may a charity be the beneficiary of a charitable trust?

In some cases, a trust may be established with a set termination point, at which the remainder of its property will be given to a separate property. Often when a beneficiary ceases to exist, a trust will end. However, a charitable trust may last even when the status or identification of beneficiaries is in questions. For example, a charitable trust set up to fund scholarships to a school may endure even if the exact scholarship recipients are unknown prior to their awarding.

Charitable trusts are an estate planning option for New Yorkers. Their trusted lawyers can help them decide if such devices should be included in their estate plans.