How to make your estate plan diverse and inclusive

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2024 | Estate Planning

There is often conflict over what happens to a person’s estate and assets after they pass away. When there is no clear will or other estate planning documents, what happens can be largely left up to Michigan judges and the probate process. As a result, a decedent’s preferences for things like giving to diverse and inclusive causes may be ignored. Thankfully, there are ways to ensure that your wishes in this regard are carried out.

Set up a trust

One of the best ways to give to charity after you’re gone is by setting up a trust while you are alive. This way, you can create rules for how the funds can be accessed and used. This can eliminate the uncertainty of probate. Charitable trusts include options like:

  • charitable remainder annuity trusts
  • charitable remainder unitrusts
  • charitable lead annuity trusts
  • charitable lead unitrusts

Charitable remainder trusts give out money to specific beneficiaries before the rest is given to charities. On the other hand, charitable-led trusts give out money to charities first and then to other beneficiaries afterward. Annuity-based trusts give out a fixed percentage each year. Alternatively, the amount given out by unitrusts is recalculated after each disbursement.

Give away assets

There is also the choice of giving assets to causes for diversity and inclusion directly instead of through a trust. This can be done by expressing those sentiments in a will with guidelines for how the executor should donate those assets.

For example, you may want to give a certain dollar amount to a college fund for underprivileged children. You could also express your wish that assets should be liquidated so that the proceeds can be given to specific charities. You could even give away real estate that could be used by charities for different purposes. There are almost limitless estate planning options to choose from.

Overall, you should consider what your values are when formulating your estate plan. It is an incredibly important process that should not be put off.