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Gifts of Real Property

Ground view of the Larry A. Shehadey near the Save Mart Center, lit up in red

Gifts of real property may be outright or part of a bequest or a charitable trust. Such gifts are subject to prior review to make sure that the property is a marketable asset.

Gifts of real property should be free of mortgages or other encumbrances, or can be coupled with a life insurance policy to pay off the mortgage as part of the charitable gift.

It is important to discuss your plans with the Planned Giving office prior to listing the gift of real estate in your estate documents so that we can complete the required due diligence process and ensure that your wishes can be fulfilled.

The standard practice for gifts of real estate is for Fresno State to sell the property as soon as possible after the gift is accepted, so that the proceeds can be used for the scholarly purpose intended by the donor. Because it is rarely beneficial for Fresno State to hold real property, any wish to have the real property used by the university should be discussed in advance.

Retained Life Estate

Retained life estates allow donors to continue living in their home while receiving an immediate income tax deduction. This arrangement is beneficial to individuals planning to leave real estate as a gift after their death, but who would benefit from the tax deduction now.

How it works:

  • You transfer your residence, farm or vacation home to Fresno State subject to a life estate.
  • You continue to live in the property for life or a specified term of years, while continuing to be responsible for all taxes and upkeep.
  • The property passes to Fresno State when your life estate ends.


  • You receive gift credit and an immediate income tax deduction for a portion of the appraised value of your property.
  • You can surrender the property, thus ending your "life estate," at any time and take an additional income tax deduction.
  • You can have the satisfaction of making a significant gift now that benefits Fresno State later.

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