Trusts and estates
Charities, Nonprofits & Fundraisers
Trusts and estates that include property that is required to be used for charitable purposes must register and file annual financial reports with the Office of the New York State Attorney General.
Below are the forms and instructions needed to properly register with the Office of the New York State Attorney General's Charities Bureau.
Charitable lead trusts
- CHAR001-LT | LT registration instructions
Registration statement for charitable lead trusts
Annual filing form for charitable lead trusts
- CHAR004 (2022)
- CHAR004 (2021)
- CHAR004 (2020)
- CHAR004 (2019)
- CHAR004 (2018)
- CHAR004 (2017)
- CHAR004 (2016)
- CHAR004 (2015)
- CHAR004 (2014)
- CHAR004 (2013)
- CHAR004 (2012)
- CHAR004 (2011)
- CHAR004 (2010)
Annual filing instructions
Instructions for form CHAR 004
Charitable remainder trusts
- CHAR001-RT | RT registration instructions
Registration statement for charitable remainder trusts
Annual filing form
- There is no annual filing form for charitable remainder trusts.
- There is no registration form for estates with a charitable interest. Submit copies of the notice of probate and will.
Instructions for registration of estates with a charitable interest
No annual filing is required to be submitted by estates.
If the will makes a bequest to charity, the estate must register with the Office of the New York State Attorney General. This includes bequests of a percentage of the estate (residuary bequests) to named or unnamed charities, and bequests to unnamed charities.
Registration is not required if all bequests to charity are specific dollar amounts left to named charities. However, if the bequests cannot be paid in full for any reason (for example, the estate has insufficient assets or if a named charity no longer exists), then the estate must register as soon as possible but no later than six months after these facts become known.
A registration file is opened automatically and a registration number is assigned when the Office of the New York State Attorney General (OAG) receives a copy of the notice of probate (a court document that is prepared by the executor or the estate’s attorney). The executor or attorney will receive a letter from OAG confirming that the estate is registered, and requesting a copy of the will if that has not already been provided.
The only required financial report is the executor’s final accounting, which is filed when the estate is ready to be closed. The accounting may be formal (filed in court) or informal.
Yes. The fee is payable at the time of the final accounting. The fee amount is based on the amount that is paid to charity.
Any trust that has a current charitable interest must register with the Attorney General. This includes charitable lead trusts, charitable remainder trusts (when the charitable remainder interest becomes current), and trusts with wholly charitable purposes, including private foundations and public charities organized in trust form.
In general, a trust is required to register no later than six months after the charitable interest becomes current.
This is a trust in which the charitable interest occurs first, followed later by other, usually non-charitable, interests.