Amy Baker

How much do people give in their wills or trusts? 

Article Type: Ask a Planner

Q: How much do people typically give to charity in their wills or trust?

A: There is no one-size-fits-all guideline. However, many families consider one of three giving models:

  • Some people allocate a certain percentage of their estate toward ministry, such as 10 percent to reinforce the biblical concept of tithing
  • Others choose to add a “child named Charity” to their plans. By this method, for example, if a couple had four children, each of the children would receive 1/5 of their belongings, and the remaining 1/5 could go toward charity.
  • Many people designate real estate, business interests, life insurance, retirement assets, machinery or even personal collections as gifts. There are a number of reasons people do this, whether it’s because the property has special meaning, their children have no further use for it or because they wish to protect their families from unnecessary taxes.

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