Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT)
A CRT receives cash or property from a donor, makes payments for a lifetime or term of years, and then distributes the rest to charity. This benefits donors who want to turn appreciated property that produces little or no income into a productive asset without paying capital gains tax at the sale of the property. The charity benefits through the receipt of the cash or property upon the end of the term or the donor’s death.
In a CRT, the appreciated property is sold tax free, with donors receiving payments for life or for a term of years. Not only do they receive a percentage of the CRT’s value, but they also receive a current federal income tax deduction. A CRT especially benefits those with cash or appreciated property with a value of at least $100,000 and who want increased income.
An attorney drafts a CRT, after which the donor transfers cash or appreciated property to it. The CRT is a tax-exempt trust that can sell the appreciated property without paying capital gains tax. It can last for the lifetimes of one or more beneficiaries or for a specific term of years.
Each year, a CRT pays either an annuity amount or unitrust amount to its beneficiaries. A charitable remainder annuity trust (CRAT) pays a fixed dollar amount each year. By contrast, a charitable remainder unitrust (CRUT) pays a percentage of the account value each year.