Charitable trusts embody many of the benefits of planning a gift within the context of your overall financial and estate planning. These tools are tremendously flexible, offer a number of significant tax benefits, and can provide financial benefits to you, your heirs, and charities such as MLR. They can be established either during life or can come into being through a provision in your will or living trust. If you own an asset that is too risky for you or is not generating enough income, and you want to diversify your investments while avoiding both up-front and long-term capital gains and income taxes, a charitable trust may offer unmatched benefits while providing you with a way to make a significant gift to MLR in the future.
The two basic types of charitable trusts are the charitable remainder trust and the charitable lead trust. With a charitable remainder trust, the more common version, the charity receives the remaining balance in the trust after the trust pays income to you or your heirs for a specified period of time. With a charitable lead trust, the positions are reversed: the trust pays income to charity for a certain period of time, and the remainder is then distributed to your heirs at the end of the designated period. Charitable lead trusts can enable you to make a significant gift to charity while at the same time preserving family wealth intact for future generations. Charitable lead trusts can be a tremendously effective method of avoiding gift and estate taxes.