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App Aims to Increase Donations to Charity – What Could Go Wrong?

Oct. 30, 2017

It sounds like a great idea: a young woman is inspired to cure cancer. She is not a medical professional, but she is tech savvy. She uses this knowledge to build an app that aims to increase charitable donations — hoping many will donate to cancer research.

To achieve this goal, the app helps people put together estate plans geared towards charitable giving. The app is free and aims at removing the hurdles that are often associated with putting together an estate plan.

What could possibly go wrong?

Unfortunately, a lot.

Estate planning is not a “one size fits all” endeavor. Although this Stanford graduate appears to have the best of intentions, using an app to put together one’s own will has the potential for catastrophic consequences. These apps cannot plan for all the potential issues that arise that can impact the distribution of assets.

The financial experts with Charles Schwab touch on some of these issues. One of the main issues: determining whether or not a trust is a good option to help preserve and build your wealth. If a trust is advisable, the next step is determining which is right for your estate. Even when the right trust is chosen, the language that creates the trust must be carefully crafted to ensure the creator’s wishes are met. A failure to meet all the criteria to create the trust can result in a trust that does not withstand a legal challenge, potentially defeating the creator’s intentions.

This is just one of the many questions to address when crafting an estate plan. Although a will is part of an estate plan, it is only a part. Additional tools are available that help to better ensure your wishes are met. It is wise to contact an estate planning attorney to cover these issues and better ensure the plan is tailored to meet your needs.