During the estate planning process, it is important to think about the legacy you wish to leave behind. Of course, you will likely want to make plans to ensure that your friends and family members are taken care of, but you may also wish to set up a trust so that others can benefit from your good fortune. Many people have the mistaken belief that only those with a large estate can set up charitable trusts, but in reality, even the smallest of estates can include one.
A man who recently set up a charitable trust did so after he had a wakeup call in the hospital. The man is Sam Simon, co-creator and executive producer of The Simpsons. Simons was diagnosed with colon cancer late last year and was told he would only live a short time. That was when he knew he needed to seriously concentrate on his estate planning.
Although he had a will, he did not have trusts set up for those causes that he feels strongly about. Had he died without setting them up, a good portion of his large estate would have been eaten up in estate taxes and legal fees. Instead, Simons has worked to set up a charitable trust that will continue his legacy after he dies.
If you are interested in setting up a charitable trust, don’t wait until it is too late. It is important to talk to an estate planning attorney sooner rather than later who can guide you and make sure that your plans will be carried out exactly as you wish.
Source: On Wall Street, “Estate Planning Lesson From The Simpsons Co-Creator,” Danielle and Andy Mayoras, Aug. 9, 2013