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Is charitable giving a part of your estate plan?

For many Minnesotans, charitable giving is something that we strive to do each year, tucking away extra money that we have in order to pass it along to organizations doing work that we support.

A recent study found that among Americans in general, the most charitable generation seems to be Baby Boomers. In fact, experts predict that over the next decade, people in the Baby Boom generation will be responsible for a the largest chunk of the money given to nonprofit organizations, estimated to be about $61.9 billion per year, or 43 percent of all the money given to charities.

The survey looked at people who were 18 years of age or older who had made a monetary gift to a charity or a nonprofit organization over the past year. Researchers excluded organizations like churches, someone's children's school, or a person's alma mater. 

In addition to the money that Baby Boomers give during their life time, many people of all ages have chosen to include charitable giving in their wills or estate plans. There are many ways to do this, including an outright gift of a dollar amount or percentage that is stated in a will. Other options include establishing a charitable trust during life or in your will, or devising a certain piece of property like a home or a valuable car, or a jewerly collection. 

Regardless of the way in which charitable giving is done, it can be a great way to extend your legacy and to maximize the value of your estate, since charitable giving is tax-exempt. 

Source: Forbes, "Charitable Giving: Baby Boomers Donate More, Study Shows," Deborah Jacobs, Aug. 8, 2013. 

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