What is charitable planning in Pennsylvania? | Here’s what to know

To learn more about the various types of charitable planning available in the state of Pennsylvania, read on and reach out to our skilled PA trust attorneys. Our legal team is prepared to help you through each step of the process ahead. Give us a call today to get started. Here are some questions you may have:

What is charitable planning in Pennsylvania?

Charitable planning can be expressed in a number of different ways. This can include the assignment of beneficiaries within an estate plan, lifetime gifts, bequests in wills or trusts, and even lifetime gifts in trusts. Additionally, the implementation of a life insurance policy or retirement plan can also be used to support charitable gifts. A person’s life insurance policy can be used as a tool to supply a lifetime gift or bequest on death to specific charities or non-profit organizations. Typically, people have the option of either gifting their insurance policy itself or a portion of the proceeds upon their death. This is accomplished through a “beneficiary designation.”

When going through the process of charitable planning, it is essential to be cognizant of any tax provisions. Qualified charities are not mandated to pay income tax on gifts that are supplied from a retirement account. This causes these funds to be valuable to charities as opposed to other assets that may derive from an estate. For individuals who would like to include charitable planning in their estate, it is important that they review various tax provisions on certain gifts. An estate planning attorney can be a help to have during this time in order to direct you through the process and ensure you are making an educated determination.

What is the goal of a charitable trust?

It is important to recognize the two major types of charitable trusts that individuals can make in Pennsylvania. These trusts include the following:

Charitable leads trust: This refers to when parts of the trust assets are allocated to charities over a period of time. After a specified period of time passes, the assets that stay in the trust are distributed to the deceased’s beneficiaries either tax-free or with significant tax savings.
Charitable remainder trusts: With this type of trust, a portion of the individual’s income is circulated back to the creator of a trust, or the designated beneficiary of the trust. After the individual passes away, their remaining assets will be presented to charity.

To learn more about charitable trusts or charitable planning in general, do not hesitate to reach out to our firm today to speak with one of our dedicated estate planning attorneys at Friedman Schuman.


Friedman Schuman is an experienced and dedicated legal resource for clients throughout Pennsylvania. We proudly serve clients facing a wide range of legal matters. If you require the services of an effective attorney, please contact Friedman Schuman today to schedule a consultation.

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