Giving to charity is not as simple as writing a check and sending it in the mail. Sure, it can be done like that, but if you want to make sure you are getting the best possible tax benefit for the charitable gift, then you need to do more planning.
This is especially true for wealthy people, who would like to create a charitable legacy that will outlive them.
While you can create a charitable legacy through several different methods, donor advised funds are popular a good way to do so as the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog recently explained in "The Rise of Donor Advised Funds."
With a donor advised fund, you can invest money now that will be used for charity later. The donor gets an immediate tax benefit and can invest however much he or she wants.
Contributions can be made over time or all at once, whichever is more beneficial. The donor does not have to actually advise how the funds are invested, if not interested in doing so. However, they can, if they are interested.
If you are considering a donor advised fund or any other type of charitable legacy, it is important to seek out the advice of an estate planning attorney. That way you can make sure you are leaving your legacy in a way that makes the most sense for your personal situation and the type of legacy you want to leave.
Reference: Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog (May 18, 2017) "The Rise of Donor Advised Funds."