Charitable Lead Trust (CLT)
A CLT receives cash or property from a donor, makes payments to charity for a specified period, and distributes the rest to a specified beneficiary, usually family members with no additional tax. This is ideal for donors who want to give property to family members and pay as little gift or estate tax as possible.
The charity benefits through the payments, and the donors benefit through the property and its growth being passed to family members. They also benefit through receiving a current federal gift or estate tax deduction for the present value of the payments to charity.
A CLT is especially beneficial to a donor who wants to pass along specific property that is expected to grow substantially in value. CLTs are ideal for those with estates of $2 million or more who want to pass property to family members, so as to minimize gift or estate tax costs.
An attorney drafts a CLT, after which the donor transfers cash or property to it. Unlike a charitable remainder trust (CRT), a CLT is a taxable trust. Every year of the trust term, the CLT will report its income and then take a deduction for the amount that it distributes to charity; any excess is subject to tax.