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You Can’t Take it With You

By Arleen Richards
Epoch Times Contributor
Created: November 23, 2012 Last Updated: November 25, 2012
Related articles: Life » Slice of Life
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A man drives his antique car in Westport, Connecticut (file photo). (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

A man drives his antique car in Westport, Connecticut (file photo). (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Many of us have heard the old adage, “You can’t take it with you!” Yet, we save and save for a rainy day.

Are you the tight, spendthrift type who grew up poor but now that you are financially comfortable, you don’t want to take any chances on becoming poor again? You have been able to buy the house of your dreams, nice car, and maybe your children are all grown up and financially capable of taking care of themselves, so you can relax and watch your money grow. 

Consider donating some or all of your assets to your favorite charity or organization. You can start by giving gifts now that can be written off on your taxes or you can make a more substantial donation in your will. 

A will can transfer a gift either as a one-time cash donation or it can create a trust account. In creating the trust account, you decide who will manage the account or who will be the trustee. It can be a trusted family member, friend, or a financial institution, like your local bank.

In addition, you decide how much of the account is distributed and over what period of time. For example, the assets can continue to be invested so that there will always be funding available for the charitable organization, but maybe you want to limit how much of the funds the organization can access at one time. 

Your instructions could be that the organization may only receive 20 percent of the funds every three months for as long as the organization remains in operation. If for some reason the organization closes down, the funds would be available to your second favorite charitable organization or maybe to your direct heirs then living.

This is just one example of the many ways in which you can leave your money for the benefit of others.

If you like the idea of putting your assets in a trust account, you don’t have to wait until you die in order for the account to be created. You can create what is called a “living trust.” A living trust can be created while you are still alive, and you would designate yourself as the trustee of the account. 

But, still you have to think about who will manage this account when you are no longer here. Therefore, you must also identify a subsequent trustee and provide instructions about how you want that trustee to manage the account after you are gone.

With a living trust, you still enjoy the benefits of your hard earned assets during your life and the funding will still be distributed according to your wishes later on. Another good thing about this kind of arrangement is that nobody has to go through the sometimes long and arduous probate process that is required to settle a will.

So, as you are relaxing and enjoying life, carefree and happy, think about the happiness and worthwhile assistance you can bestow upon others, whether in life or in death.

Information contained in this article is not intended to be legal advice nor applicable to all situations. For legal assistance, contact an attorney in your state of residence. You can visit Arleen’s website at arleenrichards-law.info.

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