Giving to others is a natural part of life that many adults incorporate into their normal routines.  Throughout a lifetime, the average person donates to charitable organizations while doing grocery shopping, during school fundraisers, and throughout the holiday season. After giving throughout an entire lifetime, many choose to include donations in their estate plans. Not only does including your favorite charities in your estate plan allow you to incorporate your desire to help others in your final wishes, it can also significantly reduce your federal estate taxes. The following are a few organizations to consider when you are deciding which charities to include in estate plans.

Wildfire Relief Fund

Established in 2003, the California Community Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund was created to assist with the long-term recovery of areas and individuals affected by major wildfires in California. The funds donated to the organization is spent to help those who are injured or displaced by wildfires. In addition to initial disaster care, the organization provides follow-up medical treatment, supplies, case management, and helps to provide basic needs along with financial assistance. Since its creation, the Wildfire Relief Fund has raised millions of dollars to help with rebuilding efforts and support those in need.

Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation

Since 1982, the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) has worked to raise money for cancer research. Through the foundation’s hard work and dedication, significant funds to improve the quality of life and standard of care for children with cancer have been raised.  A bequest to PCRF will assist physicians, researchers, and others who are searching for ways to effectively treat and eventually cure cancer. The organization’s efforts and persistence has helped drastically decrease the death rate for children diagnosed with cancer.

Humane Society of Ventura County

In 1932, a group of people who loved animals created an organization dedicated to providing care and shelter to animals in need. After struggling to support many animals with limited space and few resources, a long-time support donated over four acres that was converted into the organization’s current shelter. Today the Humane Society of Ventura County provides food, shelter, and medical care to hundreds of abandoned or neglected animals. They also provide affordable spay and neuter resources to low income pet owners who would otherwise be unable to afford these services. Donations to this organization allow them to continue having a lasting impact on animals in various communities.

Creating an Estate Plan

There are hundreds of charitable organizations throughout California that benefit from the donations and bequests of compassionate people. Making a choice is difficult, but with the proper assistance, it is possible to create an estate plan that allows you to include multiple organizations in your final wishes. The trust and estate attorneys at MMZ Law understand how important charitable contributions are and will work with you to ensure the organizations that you value are included in your plan. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation at our Claremont, California office so that we can begin providing you with the legal advice that you need.




341 W. 1st St. Suite 100
Claremont, CA 91711

MARIVEL M. ZIALCITA is the founder of MMZ LAW, A Professional Corporation, where she practices in the areas of Elder Law – Medi-Cal Planning Asset Protection, Trust & Estate, Special Needs, Conservatorship, Trust Administration, & Probate. Ms. Zialcita is a frequent speaker on trust and estate matters and holds memberships in the State Bar of California, Trust and Estate Section, The San Bernardino County Bar Association, Wealth Counsel and Elder Counsel. She currently assists in the pro bono legal services program at the James L. Brulte Senior Center in Rancho Cucamonga, California. She is based in Claremont but assists clients throughout Southern California.

This information is educational information only and not legal advice.