US Wills and Trusts - EndowmentWhat Do Charitable Trusts and Endowments Do?

The Definition of an Endowment  is “To provide with a permanent fund or source of income.”

There are many endowed institutions in the United States. These are funded by businesses, corporations and private individuals such as yourself. Some of these are well-known universities such as John Hopkins, Yale, Brown, Cornell and the University of Southern California. Other endowed entities are museums and arts institutions such as The National Endowment For The Arts, and many of the larger American Museums. These endowments allow for free access to the arts and viewing of famous public and private collections. Endowments to schools provide scholarships while endowments to medical institutions provide low-cost medical care and free clinics in many rural and urban areas.

Do I Want To Endow A Charity?

You may ask why this should matter to you. There are two reasons. First, you may be one of the fortunate individuals who has an opportunity to partake in the benefits of these institutions, or secondly, you may be in a position to help them continue to thrive.  For many of us, charitable giving is a part of our financial life. We give to our churches, to hospitals, animal welfare groups, college alumni associations and to public radio and television. The amounts that we give are budgeted into our overall expenditures and are also tax-deductible. It feels great to help others and it’s also a good feeling to get some benefit from your giving at tax time. If you are in the habit of giving to charity, you may be thinking that you’d like to include some provision for your chosen charity when making up your estate plan. This posthumous giving is a type of endowment.

How Is This Done?

Endowments are generally set up as trusts, funded by the individual or company, and invested so that the trust can make money to pay forward into the future. This is where your attorney comes in. Your attorney will set up your estate plan to include this charitable endowment. You will fund the amount that you wish to give to your charity. When you pass on, the charity will continue to receive your donations in incremental payments (such as monthly or annually), or in a lump sum. Your charitable endowment is set up by you with your instructions as to how it will be handled by your trustee. This ensures that your wishes will be followed and that your pet charity will continue to receive your support even after your death.

How Do I Get Started?

When you’re ready to consider your charitable endowment as part of your complete estate plan, contact U.S. Wills and Trusts. Knowledgeable attorneys are available to speak to and answer any questions you may have about giving to charity as part of your overall estate plan. for more information or call 714-584-7492 to get started with unlimited talk time on your call to an attorney. U.S.Wills and Trusts charges a one-time fee to create a comprehensive estate plan that can include an endowment to your favorite charity.