Charitable Trusts

Charitable Trusts

At Bethel Law we are often asked about the process for setting up charitable trusts. Many of our clients have aspirations toward establishing this type of trust, but state law can often create a confusing maze of rules, regulations, and loopholes which make expert advice absolutely necessary. The attorneys at Bethel Law have extensive experience in helping our clients achieve their charitable goals, while at the same time maximizing tax benefits. Depending upon a client’s specific needs and goals, we can offer advice on establishing charitable remainder unitrusts, charitable lead annuity trusts, or donor advised funds.

Establishing a charitable trust will require a number of procedures in order to comply with the law. In accordance with California state law, all charitable trusts must be properly registered with the Attorney General’s office. Also, the charity must comply with all regulations set forth in the Nonprofit Integrity Act of 2004. Financial disclosure reports must be filed with the Attorney General, and every year the charity must complete the Annual Registration Renewal Fee Report. There may be additional requirements based upon the amount of the charity’s annual revenue and resources.

These regulations were put into place in order to ensure that funds designated to charities do indeed fulfill the original intent of the charity. This also aids the state in creating guides that provide full disclosure to the public, so that donors may make responsible and informed decisions with regard to charitable giving. The Attorney General’s office may conduct investigations or take legal action in order to uphold the law and protect the interests of both charities and donors.

Given the many complicated steps involved in setting up and maintaining a charitable trust, it is clear that expert guidance is necessary in order to comply with the law. Our legal team here at Bethel Law provides an experienced knowledge base to our clients, so that their interests are fully protected while maximizing the benefits of establishing a charitable trust.

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