In addition to providing for your heirs after you’re gone, many people also want to leave money or assets behind for their favourite charities. But before you bequeath those assets in your Will, consider these options.
A Charitable Remainder trust allow the assets to be given to the charity while you, the grantor, continue to use and receive profits from the property. Upon your death, your beneficiaries will continue to receive those profits for a specified period of time, while the charity owns the property itself. This creates a unique tax break for your heirs as you and your beneficiaries don’t own the property, so there’s no estate tax due on the assets.
A Charitable Lead Trust works just the opposite. In this type of trust, the charity receives the income from the property while your beneficiaries own the asset. Once again, estate taxes are reduced because the property is not part of the estate upon death – it belongs to beneficiaries.
Charitable Remainder trusts and the Charitable Lead trusts benefit all parties involved. To decide which will work best for you, consult with an experienced estate planning attorney.