Q: I have no heirs and would like ideas as to how I might plan for my house and property and savings once I am gone.
I'm not interested in donating to huge charities whose CEOs earn 6-figure salaries.
This is a pretty open-ended question, the answer to which will depend on, among other things, your priorities, values, and goals. I would suggest you start a conversation with someone who can help you achieve what you want to accomplish. That person could be a financial adviser or an attorney who practices in the estate planning area (or someone else).
If you are interested in exploring these issues further with an attorney, my partner, Cecilia Guecia, practices in this area and I am sure she would be happy to discuss your situation with you. Her telephone number is (207) 846-6111 and her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Think about younger friends or neighbors that you might want to surprise with a little windfall when you pass. Someone whose kindness you would like to repay.
Also consider local charities, like your church or the local animal rescue society or the local hospice. The local charities tend to be more efficient with donation dollars, not spending gobs on lavish balls, fat salaries, first class airfare and the like.
Finally, hire a nearby attorney to help you plan your estate. Those attorneys usually have built up a database of charity names and addresses that their past clients have chosen. You could tell him or her what causes you favor and he or she can probably rattle off a few local charities that fit the bill.
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