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Learning How A Charitable Remainder Trust Can Work For You

Quick Reference To Know If Charitable Remainder Trust Is Right For You

A trust is a legal arrangement in which a trustee holds and manages property or assets for the benefit of another person, called the beneficiary. A charitable remainder trust allows you to gift to a charity and receive income for life or a period of years, with the remainder going to charity when the trust ends.

A charitable remainder trust (CRT) can be an excellent way to provide for yourself and your family while supporting a cause you care about.

There is a 10 percent rule set by the IRS, which is a guideline that stipulates the minimum amount that should be distributed from a CRT each year. This rule ensures that the trust does not become a taxable estate and allows the trust to continue to provide tax-free distributions to beneficiaries.

Consider Getting Legal Advice To Start With Your Trusted Attorney Your Charitable Remainder Trust In California

What Are The Trusts That Can Benefit Charities?

There are two types of charitable trust: charitable lead trust (CLT) and charitable remainder trust (CRT).

A charitable lead trust provides income to one or more charities for a set period, after which the trust’s remaining assets are distributed to you or your chosen beneficiaries. 

On the other hand, a charitable remainder trust works in the reverse order: first, the trust’s assets are distributed to you or your beneficiaries, and then, once the set period has elapsed, the remaining assets are given to charity. 

So, which type of trust is right for you? It depends on your specific circumstances and goals. A charitable lead trust may be the way if you want immediate support for a favorite charity. A charitable remainder trust could be a better option if you’re more interested in leaving a lasting legacy after your lifetime.

What Are The Different Types Of Charitable Remainder Trusts?

There are two types of charitable remainder trusts: annuity trusts and unitrusts.

With a charitable remainder annuity trust (CRAT), you transfer ownership of an asset to a trust. The trust then pays you (or another named beneficiary) a fixed annuity for life or a term of years. When the annuity period ends, the trust distributes the remaining assets to the charity.

A charitable remainder unitrust (CRUT) pays a fixed rate of the net fair market value of the trust assets, as determined annually, to one or more named beneficiaries for a term of years not exceeding 20.

What Are The Advantages Of Having A Charitable Remainder Trust?

There are many advantages of having a charitable remainder trust, especially if you are looking for ways to minimize your taxes and increase your overall financial security. Here are just a few of the benefits you can enjoy by setting up this type of trust:

  • Reduce or eliminate capital gains taxes on appreciated assets. When you sell property or investments that have gone up in value, you typically have to pay capital gains taxes on the profit. However, if you donate these assets to a charitable remainder trust, you can avoid paying these taxes altogether.
  • Enjoy an immediate income tax deduction. When you donate to a charitable remainder trust, you can take an immediate income tax deduction for the full fair market value of the assets donated. This can significantly reduce your annual taxable income and lower your overall tax bill.
  • Receive periodic payments from the trust.
  • The assets in the trust are not subject to probate, so they can be passed on to your beneficiaries without delay or expense.

What Are The Disadvantages Of A Charitable Remainder Trust?

Consider setting up a charitable remainder trust; it’s essential to know the potential disadvantages. While these trusts can be a great way to minimize taxes and provide for a charity you care about, there are some potential drawbacks. 

One of the most significant disadvantages is that you won’t be able to access the trust assets during your lifetime. That means if you need the money for an emergency, you won’t be able to get to it. 

Additionally, setting up a charitable remainder trust can be complex and expensive. You’ll need to work with an attorney or financial advisor to ensure everything is set up correctly. Finally, it’s important to remember that a charitable remainder trust is irrevocable. That means once you’ve set it up, you can’t change your mind about the terms or who the beneficiaries are.

What Assets Can Be Used To Fund Charitable Remainder Trusts?

You can use almost any asset in a CRT, including cash, stocks, bonds, real estate, and personal property such as art or jewelry. The value of the assets you contribute to the trust is generally tax-deductible, and any appreciation in the value of the assets is tax-free.


If you are looking for a way to fund a charitable remainder trust, you may want to consider using cash. There are several advantages of using cash to fund a charitable remainder trust, including:

  • You will not have to worry about stock market fluctuations.
  • You can receive an immediate tax deduction for the donation.
  • The donation will be considered part of your estate for tax purposes, which can provide significant tax benefits.
  • The donation can be made in installments, providing flexibility if your financial situation changes.
  • You can ensure that the charity receives the total amount of the gift.
  • Using cash to fund a charitable remainder trust is easy to do. You can write a check or transfer money from your bank account into the trust account. 
  • It is much easier to donate cash than to sell assets, which can be time-consuming and complicated.
  • It can give you more control over how the money is used. When you donate assets other than cash, you may have less say in spending money. However, when you fund a trust with cash, you can specify exactly how you want the money to be used.

Stocks & Bonds

There are advantages and disadvantages to using stock and bonds to fund your charitable remainder trust. Here are just a few:

  • You can get a tax deduction for the full market value of the securities when they are transferred to the trust.
  • The trust can sell the securities and reinvest the proceeds without incurring any capital gains taxes.
  • The trust can make distributions to the beneficiaries based on the current income from the investments, which can provide a steady stream of income for them.
  • The trustee has discretion over how much income is distributed to the beneficiaries and when, so it can be used to meet their changing needs over time.

If you use stock to fund your CRT, you may be able to avoid paying capital gains tax on the appreciated value of the shares. This can be a significant advantage if the stock has increased in value since you purchased it. However, there is also a risk that the stock price could go down, reducing the value of your trust. 

If you use bonds to fund your CRT, you will not have to worry about the value of your investment fluctuating. Knowing that your trust will be worth a predictable amount each year can give you peace of mind.

Real Estate

Here are some advantages of using real estate to fund a charitable remainder trust:

  • Real estate is a stable asset that can provide consistent funding for your trust.
  • Real estate can appreciate in value over time, providing additional funds for your trust.
  • You can get a tax deduction for the property’s total market value.
  • You can sell the property without having to pay any capital gains taxes.

What Is Probate? Why Should You Avoid It?

When a person dies, their property must go through probate before being passed on to their heirs.

Probate is the legal procedure of resolving the estate of a deceased person. The court will appoint an executor to oversee the probate process and distribute the deceased person’s assets according to their will. 

If the deceased person did not have a will, their assets would be distributed according to state law. 

The probate process can be complex and time-consuming, but ensuring that the deceased person’s assets are appropriately distributed is essential. 

The executor will need to collect the deceased person’s assets, pay outstanding debts, and file necessary taxes. Once these things have been taken care of, the executor will distribute the remaining assets to the heirs.

With the many disadvantages of the probate process, you should avoid it at all costs. There are a few ways to avoid probate. One is to create a trust like a charitable remainder trust and other trusts. This will allow your assets to be transferred to your beneficiaries without going through probate court.

Another way to avoid probate is to jointly own assets with someone else, such as your spouse or child. When you die, the asset will automatically transfer to the other owner without going through probate. 

You may also want to consider giving some of your assets away during your lifetime. This can be done through gifting or setting up a life insurance policy.

If you are considering using a charitable remainder trust to avoid probate, it is essential to seek the advice of an experienced estate planning attorney. An attorney can help you determine whether a charitable remainder trust is right for you and can assist with creating the trust.

Weiner Law, located in San Diego CA, can help you with charitable remainder trusts and the whole process of your estate plan. Weiner law can help you avoid the probate process.

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