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Have you considered charitable giving as part of your estate plan?

No matter how much wealth you accumulate in life, the old adage remains unchanged: you can't take it with you. For most us, "too much" wealth will never be an issue. Nonetheless, most people have saved and spent wisely enough that they will have some assets to pass along when they go.

Making sure those assets get distributed correctly is where estate planning comes in. In addition to leaving assets to family and loved ones, many Baby Boomers are likely to use their estate plan to continue what their already doing: giving to charity.

A recent article in Forbes magazine discusses a study showing that Baby Boomers, contribute to charitable causes more than any other living generation. They are not only the largest group of charitable donors; they also give the most money.

The study also reveals that different generations tend to contribute more heavily to different types of causes. Generations X and Y, for example, are more likely to give money to international causes, human rights and children's charities.

Meanwhile, Baby Boomers and "matures" (the oldest generation) are more likely to give money to veterans' causes. Across all generations, the most heavily supported causes were houses of worship, social service charities and health organizations.

If you are already in the habit of giving, you can help your important contributions continue by including charitable giving in your estate plan. Even if you don't currently donate to charity, including charitable giving in your estate plan could be an important way to leave a legacy.

No matter what you choose to do with your assets, an estate plan is the best way to make sure your final wishes are honored. If you have questions or want to get the process started, an experienced elder law attorney can help.

Source: Forbes, "Charitable Giving: Baby Boomers Donate More, Study Shows," Deborah L. Jacobs, Aug. 8, 2013

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