Charity is one of the best ways to help others. If you’re strapped for time, you can always donate food or money to the charity of your choice. For every cause, there is a nonprofit organization out there that is willing to help. Philanthropy and charity are two of the ways that you can not only help people in need, but also their families and friends. When illness or poverty strikes one person, it’s not just that individual affected: it affects everyone who is close to them. Charity is, in a sense, a way to protect others. But how can you protect your own family in a similar way? 

Asset Protection 

You might be wondering how your own assets can tie into nonprofits. Asset protection means that you’re setting aside legal tools and documents concerning what will happen to your assets after you pass on. Perhaps there is something you want to transfer to a family member after you die. By setting up a living trust, you can make that happen. This three-party relationship allows you to hand over nominal title to a trustee until your beneficiary is able to receive your asset. A living trust is not the only way to transfer assets, but it is the best way to avoid probate. 

Healthcare Decisions

The time, expense, and mental exhaustion of caring for an end-of-life relative is very draining. Through estate planning, you can ease that process. Selecting a power of attorney and filling out a healthcare directive will allow you to set up your decisions in preparation of a time period where you’re sick or incapacitated. A power of attorney is the individual you designate to handle your financial decisions, and a healthcare directive tells doctors and hospitals your particular wishes concerning your medical care. Having a clear-cut plan of action will save your family from guessing and stress when it is time for you to start receiving intensive care. 

Avoiding Probate 

As mentioned above, tools such as a living trust help you avoid probate. Probate court is the process by which a judge (called a probate judge) divides up your assets after you die. The court isn’t just for people who die without a will. Even a last will and testament is still subject to probate court. The probate judge pays off creditors first, and then divides up the remaining assets as he or she sees fit. You want to avoid probate court because it is time consuming, expensive, and very stressful. Diligent estate planning can keep you out of probate, something for which your family will thank you.

Giving Gifts 

If there’s a charity you love, you might even want to give a gift. Estate planning can help you manage this gift-giving. The gift-giving also applies to relatives and family that you might want to help as well. There are ways around excessive taxation using gift money, and that money also allows you to help someone in need. Gift money is very charitable, and it is definitely in the spirit of Nonprofit Awareness Month. If you think you’d like to take part and give gift money as part of your estate plan, an estate planner can help you do so.

Nonprofit Awareness Month brings attention to the many awesome organizations out there that help people in distress. Celebrate this month by giving a little, whether it is extra time, food, clothes, money, or something else. However, don’t forget to also take care of your own family by preparing for what happens if you yourself are sick or injured. Estate planning offers a similar monetary protection as charity. Taking care of your own family is just another way you can celebrate the charitable spirit of November.