Suggestions for Charitable Giving in Estate Plans:
Giving a Tithe of Your Estate to Charity
When planning for the future allocation of your Estate, you can use the occasion to reinforce the importance of the biblical concept of a tithe to your family. For example, if a couple with four children had an Estate of $600,000, a tithe of the Estate would provide $60,000 for charity and $540,000 to their children, or approximately $135,000 for each child.
“Child Named Charity”
The concept of a “Child Named Charity” actually was presented to Barnabas Foundation by a couple who had lost a child and wanted that child’s share to go to their favorite Christian charities. It has become a popular way for many people to distribute gifts from their Estate.
For example, if a couple has four children and wants to include a “Child Named Charity” in their plans, they would divide their Estate five ways: one-fifth to each child and one-fifth to their favorite Christian organizations. A “Child Named Charity” makes a strong statement to family members about your commitment to Christian causes. At the same time, it still provides a substantial portion of your Estate for your children.
How Much is Enough?
Determining how much inheritance is enough for your children and grandchildren is a challenging but important process. Christians usually wish to determine an appropriate amount which will help but not harm them and then leave the remainder to Christian charities.
For example, a husband and wife with two children have an Estate valued at $650,000. They decide that a $250,000 inheritance is an appropriate amount for each of their children. This is an inheritance that will allow them to help fund their grandchildren’s college education and help their children plan for their own retirement. The remaining $150,000 will go to their favorite chairties which they have supported their entire adult lives.
Giving Most/All to Christian Causes
Sometimes Christians decide to leave most or all of their Estate to Christian charities. In some cases, the children of people who choose this option have substantially more assets than their parents, or they may have made lifestyle or financial choices that would make it undesirable to give them any more assets. Others who do not have children or other family members they wish to remember with a bequest may leave their entire Estate to the charities of their choice.
No matter what type of bequest you choose, we encourage you to notify the charities you have selected to make sure that your gift will be credited and use properly. If a charitable organization knows about your bequest and has made provisions for it, it is more likely that your gift will be handled and acknowledged according to your wishes.