When people make their estate plans, they normally make sure their families are taken care of first. After doing that, there is often still money or other assets left over. Some people also give that to their families. However, many others prefer to provide for their favorite charities.
This helps the charity and can also leave an enduring legacy for the giver. However, there are good and bad ways to give to charities. The specifics of what ways are good and bad often vary between different charities.
The best way to find out how to give to any specific charity, is to talk to that charity. There are other benefits to doing that, as Mountain Xpress points out in "Local nonprofits work with donors for planned giving."
Many charities have specific language they like donors to use, when giving gifts in their wills or trusts. This helps the charity know how they can use the gifts legally. Donors can also benefit from this, since the charity might have different funds set up for its different charitable activities. Donors can direct that their gifts be used for the specific funds they choose to support.
Some charities even offer “benefits” now to people who promise to make a gift to the charity after they pass away. However, if you do not let the charity know about your plans, then you cannot get those benefits.
Talk to an estate planning attorney, if you would like to leave something behind for charity. The attorney can also help with talking to the charity.
Reference: Mountain Xpress (May 12, 2018) "Local nonprofits work with donors for planned giving."