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For the estate tax charitable contribution, the charitable bequest has to be specifically authorized in the will or trust document making the disposition. Note that this is considered a bequest of principal, not of income.

Oh well, as with many DIY estate planning ideas, it doesn't work.

I understand it is an estate tax issue, and not an income tax issue. I thought that maybe if it went directly as a donation from the estate, it would avoid the estate tax issue. If the estate tax issue was avoided, there would not be an income tax issue.
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