Charitable Lead Trust

You can place cash or property into a trust that pays a fixed amount to The Foundation for the number of years you select. Once this period ends, the assets held by the trust are transferred to the beneficiaries you name. In some cases, you receive a substantial reduction in federal gift and estate taxes. Learn more about charitable lead trusts.

A Charitable Lead Trust helps you build a charitable fund with The Community Foundation during the trust's term. When the trust terminates, the remaining assets are returned to you or transferred to your heirs, often with significant tax savings. The Community Foundation is pleased to serve in an advisory role with this type of of trust should you wish to pursue this generous gift option with your team of professional advisors.

How it Works

  • You transfer cash, appreciated stocks, real estate, or other assets
    into an irrevocable charitable trust.
  • We set up a fund in your name, in the name of your family or business, or in honor of any person or organization you choose.
  • Your charitable lead trust pays The Community Foundation an annual amount to build the charitable fund. You designate the trust to exist for a specified number of years or until your death.
  • You also designate your family or anyone you choose as the final beneficiary of your trust.
  • If you choose, you can stay involved in the good works your gift makes possible - working with our professional staff to support the causes and agencies you care about most.
  • We handle all the administrative details, issuing grant awards to charities in the name of the fund you establish (if you prefer, grants can be made anonymously).
  • Your gift can be placed into an endowment that is invested over time. Earnings from your fund are used to make grants addressing community needs. Your gift - and all future earnings from your gift - is a permanent source of community capital, helping to do good work forever.

More Benefits

A charitable lead trust entitles you to a number of financial benefits. It shelters investment earnings from taxes and offers gift, estate, and generation skipping tax benefits. For example, trust assets are removed from your estate for estate tax purposes. You may also capture future gift tax deductions. However, at the time the trust is established, you may owe gift tax on the present value of your gift to the final beneficiary.

You have several options when establishing a trust.You can create a charitable lead trust during your life or through your will. The trust contributes to the charitable fund specified at The Community Foundation - either for a number of years or for your lifetime. And, you select one of two types of charitable lead trust. A charitable lead unitrust makes annual distributions of a fixed percentage of the trust assets to the charitable fund you establish.

If you create a charitable lead annuity trust, the charitable fund you establish will receive a fixed dollar amount each year. During its term, the trust can be managed expertly by experienced trust professionals, which may help your trust investments grow over time. When the trust terminates, its final assets are transferred to those you designate; any growth in the trust passes to recipients, often with significant transfer tax savings.