Heritage Elder Law and Estate Planning offers appointments in-person at one of our six offices, virtually or over-the-phone for the convenience of our clients.

Call our office or click the button below to schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys.

Heritage Tree LogoHow does charitable planning work in Pennsylvania? | What to know

lady justice statue

To learn more about charitable planning in Pennsylvania, reach out to our dedicated and experienced Butler County estate planning & probate attorneys.

How does charitable planning work in Pennsylvania?

Charitable planning can be described in several different ways. This can include the assignment of beneficiaries within an estate plan, lifetime gifts, bequests in wills or trusts, and even lifetime gifts in trusts. Furthermore, the execution of a life insurance policy or retirement plan can also be employed to fund charitable gifts. A person’s life insurance policy can be used as a tool to provide a lifetime gift or bequest on death to certain charities or non-profit organizations. Usually, people have the choice of either gifting their insurance policy itself or a portion of the profits once they pass away. This is achieved through a “beneficiary designation.”

When going through the process of charitable planning, it is important to be aware of any tax provisions. Eligible charities are not required to pay income tax on gifts that are provided from a retirement account. This drives these funds to be useful to charities as opposed to other assets that may emanate from an estate. For people who would like to include charitable planning in their estate, it is important that they discuss various tax provisions on certain gifts. An estate planning attorney can be a benefit to have during this time in order to lead you through the process and ensure you are making an informed decision.

What is the goal of a charitable trust?

You will want to keep in mind the two main kinds of charitable trusts that people can make in Pennsylvania. These trusts include:

Charitable leads trust: This is when parts of the trust assets are allocated to charities over a period of time. After a specified period of time passes, the assets that remain in the trust are allocated to the deceased’s beneficiaries either tax-free or with significant tax savings.
Charitable remainder trusts: With this kind of trust, a portion of the individual’s income is distributed back to the creator of a trust, or the designated beneficiary of the trust. After the individual dies, their remaining assets will be offered to charity.

If you would like to learn more about charitable trusts or charitable planning in general, it is in your best interest to reach out to our firm today to speak with one of our dedicated estate planning attorneys.


Whether you are dealing with matters involving estate planning, estate administration, or elder law, you need a legal team you can feel confident will represent your best interests, every step of the way. We are that legal team. Contact Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning today so we can get started.

Estate Planning & Probate

Whether you’re looking to secure your family’s future, protect a loved one’s assets or provide a loved one with the financial assistance he or she needs to afford long-term care, we are committed to serving your needs. We consistently offer creative and effective solutions to your most complex and sensitive estate planning needs and help your wishes come to fruition through our probate service.

Learn More

Elder Law, Medicaid Planning & Asset Protection

Everybody’s life is full of both expected and unexpected challenges. With our experience with elder law issues, we can help you enjoy the later years and retain full control over decisions that directly impact you. The attorneys at Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning view every challenge as an opportunity. We can help you or your loved one today.

Read Our Recent Blog Posts