Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What Is a Charitable Remainder Trust?

Citizens of the United States are charitable by nature if the statistics mean anything at all. American individuals, estates, foundations, and corporations gave an estimated $240.72 billion to charitable causes in 2003, according to Giving USA 2004, a study released by Giving USA Foundation. And the Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT) is one of the most popular ways to give to charities. According to the IRS, there are over 115,000 Charitable Remainder Trusts in the United States with assets of over $85 billion.

A Charitable Remainder Trust permits a donor to defer the income tax consequences on the sale of a capital gain property and make a charitable gift. The donor transfers property to the Trust, retaining the right to receive a stream of annual payments for a term chosen by the donor. At the donor’s death, the remaining assets go to the charity, thus the name Charitable Remainder Trust.

The two most common types are Charitable Remainder Annuity Trusts (CRATs) and Charitable Remainder Unitrusts (CRUTs).

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