About a year or so ago there was an interesting story circulating around the financial community. Two of the most high profile business people in the United States, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, issued a challenge to the world’s most wealthy individuals. They asked their fellow billionaires to make a pledge to give away at least half of their wealth to charitable causes over the course of their lives. It should be noted that Warren Buffett certainly did not adopt a “do as I say not as I do” mentality with regard to this subject. At this point he has given Berkshire Hathaway stock valued at over $10 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation over the last several years.
Though precious few of us are in the financial stratosphere of people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, a lot of people are in a position to give something back to charitable causes as part of their legacies. The creation of a private family foundation such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation or the Ford Foundation is really not practical for most people. There are considerable expenses involved in the creation of the foundation, there are also ongoing expenses to maintain it. Even people with considerable resources can find establishing a foundation hard to justify.
The charitable giving vehicle that has emerged as a popular alternative is the donor advised fund. With these funds you as the donor can make recommendations requesting that grants be made to multiple charities while providing just one donation into the fund. This allows for very efficient giving and streamlines your accounting considerably. Plus, the fund has the infrastructure in place so the costs incurred by you as the donor are minimal.
To get all the details about donor advised funds simply get in touch with experienced estate planning attorney.