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Park Ridge IL Medicaid and Estate Planning Legal Blog

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Charitable and Planned Giving in Illinois

Q: How can I donate money to a favorite charity or cause?

People like to say that life is short. Because that may be true since we can’t predict when we will die, it pays for all adults, regardless of their age, health, or net worth, to have a comprehensive estate plan prepared by an Illinois estate planning attorney.

Early on, a relatively simple last will and testament may suffice for most people, along with powers of attorney and similar documents that designate trusted agents to handle your financial and/or medical decisions in the event you become incapacitated and are unable to do so yourself.

However, others like to say that life is long. That can feel especially true during stressful or difficult times. Because personal circumstances often change along the course of their lifetime, people’s estate plans may need to be changed as well to take into account different personal or business relationships, shifts in income, and more. Marriages and divorces, births, deaths, and business relationships are all life events that may impact an existing estate plan.

If you are fortunate enough to someday acquire (or have been born into) moderate to significant wealth, consulting with a skilled advanced estate planning attorney is vital. This is particularly important if you want to take advantage of charitable bequests or planned to give to organizations or causes close to your heart. Planned giving can be accomplished in different ways, either during your lifetime or at the time of your death. Attorneys who handle these kinds of bequests should be knowledgeable in tax law, as well.

Recently, one of the largest gifts ever given to the University of Chicago from a family foundation has become the subject of a lawsuit by the donors against the school, attempting to "negate a $100 million donation” on the grounds that the university allegedly "improperly managed" the gift which the family foundation reportedly agreed to pay over nine annual installments. The family foundation is also reportedly seeking a refund of the nearly $23 million already paid. The university has reportedly countersued for not only the allegedly missed payment from 2017 but other "substantial damages" related to the foundations alleged "breaches”.

This case is just one of many disputes between donors and their beneficiaries.

If you need help with an initial estate plan or need to modify an existing estate plan, whether incorporating planned giving or not, the Law Office of Thomas J. Hansen can help you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

From our office in Park Ridge, Illinois, we assist clients in Park Ridge, Cook County, as well as Niles, Des Plaines, Glenview, Norridge, and Rosemont, Illinois.

Thomas J. Hansen, LTD. assists clients in Park Ridge, Cook County, IL as well as Niles, Des Plaines, Glenview, Norridge, and Rosemont.

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