I'm thinking of setting up a donation fund for my sister diagnosed with breast cancer. What legal issues do I need to be aware of? Does she need to claim the donations as income on her tax return? Does this affect / conflict with any financial assistance available? Thank you
You should consult briefly with a tax/non-profits attorney about this issue. I don't believe donors would be able to have their contributions be tax deductible unless she obtained nonprofit status from the IRS by filing a Form 1023. I suspect she would need to declare the donations as income and this could make a difference for means-tested entitlement program eligibility. An attorney practicing in that area should be able to answer that for you. Good luck.
Disclaimer - The above is not legal advice and should not be construed as such. Always seek legal representation for any important legal decisions.