Many people are in a position to leave behind a charitable legacy, and this can certainly be a rewarding parting act. Exactly what cause or causes you would like to support can be something that you carefully craft to reflect your own passions and interests.
If you decide that you would like to engage in acts of philanthropy as you are planning your estate you will have some decisions to make with regard to vehicles of charitable giving.
Perhaps the first thing that will come to mind for most people is a private family foundation. We have all heard of them, and names like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Ford Foundation immediately come to mind.
These names are synonymous with enormous wealth. Therefore, many individuals assume that private family foundations are only possible for people who are in a very rarefied financial stratosphere.
In fact, most private foundations do not have a staff, and the majority of them have assets that do not reach the $1 million threshold.
If you are interested in starting a foundation the intelligent first step would be to sit down and discuss the details with an experienced estate planning attorney.
There are few things in life more meaningful than being able to provide resources to worthy causes. And it should be noted that if you are in a position to do so you may also be able to realize certain tax advantages, and these benefits come along as a reward of sorts in exchange for your acts of generosity.