Tony Novak profile picture
  "AskTony" column archive        


Most Popular

AskTony Archive

This Web site contains a compilation of more than a thousand consumer finance  columns written by Tony Novak from the 1980s through 2006, updated and reformatted for maximum usefulness today.  New material was added after 2010.

Content is the opinion of the author and does not represent the position of any other person or entity. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.

The author is paid for product endorsements and has an ownership or other financial interest in the businesses related to the topics covered.

New questions

Submit consumer finance questions at and health insurance questions at

Sponsored by: Insurance Exchange - your source of valuable information on state and federal health reform benefits.

Core Health Insurance - America's favorite mini-med insurance  with affordable premiums, freedom to choose providers, optional PPO discounts and guaranteed eligibility regardless of medical conditions.

Please support the Web sites that make publication of AskTony services possible.

Charitable trust research

originally posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date. If you notice an error or are in doubt, please send a new question by email or ask for an update. Email

Q: I am researching a charitable trust fund that is going to be set up for the church that I attend. Can you help?

A: You should be aware at the outset of your research that the entire approach to charitable trust planning is directed by the source of the information. The primary driving force behind most charitable trusts are life insurance companies and agents who provide this professional assistance without charge as long as the trust is funded with life insurance. This is great if you are sure that the trust will be funded with life insurance. Accountants and fee-based advisers tend to offer more flexible funding options including the use of real estate and other assets (or even offer the ability to establish an unfunded trust), but there is an up-front cost for this planning. In either case, the best approach might be to speak with a life insurance agent first and then get a second opinion from an independent non-commissioned tax adviser. This will minimize fees and you would not be committed to any specific action. See the details of ordering service at


More resources:

resource list goes here