Article first published in the Financial Times.
Q: I am an extremely wealthy individual and, although I will pass some of my private wealth on to my children, I am keen for a substantial majority of it to be used for public good. I have considered the idea of making a commitment where over the course of my life I will donate 95 per cent of the value of my current shareholding to charitable initiatives chosen by myself, corresponding to the areas I am passionate about, for example, education. Can you provide some insight into the most beneficial ways to initiate and structure something like this?
A: Clare Morison, senior associate, Thomson Snell & Passmore, says that if you are planning to give significant amount of money to charity during your lifetime, but do not want to simply give it directly to specific established charities, the best way to structure the gift is to establish a charitable trust.
You can transfer the assets you wish to give to charity to that trust and the trustees will then use the assets in the trust either to make grants to other individuals or organisations carrying our charitable work, or they can become involved in doing charitable work directly.
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