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Charitable Lead Trust

Two chemistry students with their labcoats working on compounds in front a white board

If you are looking for a way to pass on some of your assets to your family while reducing or eliminating gift or estate taxes, a charitable lead trust is an excellent option.

Flowchart: Donor funds lead trust with property. Lead trust pays income to Fresno State for a number of years. Donor's family receives the remainder at the end of the trust term.

Benefits of a charitable lead trust

  • Receive a gift or estate tax charitable income tax deduction
  • Pass inheritance on to family at a reduced or zero cost
  • Establish a vehicle from which you can make annual gifts to charity

How a charitable lead trust works

  1. You make a contribution of your property to fund a trust that pays Fresno State income for a number of years.
  2. You receive a gift or estate tax deduction at the time of your gift.
  3. After a period of time, your family receives the trust assets plus any additional growth in value.

Seek Advice

Planning your estate can sometimes get complicated. Even simple estate plans can have severe tax and other legal consequences. As you review these pages, please remember that there are always exceptions to every rule. We encourage you to seek guidance from a qualified licensed professional such as an attorney or certified public accountant to be certain that your desires are fulfilled without any unwelcome surprises.

How Can Fresno State's Planned Giving Office Be of Assistance?

We are charitable planning specialists and have resources available to support both your investigation and your implementation of gift planning techniques. Our services are professional, confidential and collaborative. They are provided without cost or obligation. We encourage you to call on us to assist you, your family and your advisors in exploring financial, estate and charitable planning.

For more information, please contact:
Liz Garvin, CGPP
Director of Planned Giving
5244 North Jackson Ave., M/S KC45
Fresno, CA 93740-8023
559.278.4038
egarvin@csufresno.edu

Additional Information

Zero Tax Plan - It is even possible to set up a lead trust that will allow you to transfer assets to your family with zero transfer taxes. The IRS assumes that a lead trust is only earning at the current low federal rate. If the actual investments of the trust produce a higher return than the payments made to Fresno State over the term of the trust, then the full value of the trust may be transferred to family with zero gift tax.

FLP/Lead Trust Plan - To discount your gift to family even more, you may consider first transferring your real estate or other assets into a family limited partnership (FLP), which will fund your lead trust. The combination of the FLP, the lead trust and a gift exemption can permit the lead trust to pay income to us for a number of years and potentially transfer substantial assets tax-free to your family.

Increasing Payment Lead Trust - With increased volatility in the stock market, you may also want to consider creating a lead trust that makes fixed payments of increasing amounts to us over time. Because the payments to us are fixed, your family ultimately benefits from any growth in the trust. Low payouts in early years allow the trust to grow, thus allowing protection should the economy produce below-average returns in the future.

Grantor Lead Trust - A grantor lead trust permits you to transfer your cash or assets to a trust that will make gifts to charity for a number of years. At the end of the trust term, you receive the assets back from the trust.

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