Charitable Lead Trust

Charitable Lead Trust

Make a substantial gift to Arcadia University in the form of fixed annual payments and pass assets to your family or other heirs at reduced gift and estate tax cost. 

charitable trust may be right for you if:

  • You have substantial assets that you do not need currently for your own financial security.
  • You want to provide for your family or other heirs.
  • You want to save gift taxes, estate taxes, and probate costs.
  • You want your gift to make a difference at Arcadia starting immediately.
  • You could consider a gift of $100,000 or more to benefit Arcadia and your heirs.
 
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Separate trust
A charitable lead trust is a separate taxable trust governed by an irrevocable trust agreement. You choose the trustee who is responsible for administering your lead trust and guiding the investment of its assets.

Irrevocable gift 
A charitable lead trust is an irrevocable arrangement. Once you transfer assets to create the trust, you cannot change your mind and get the assets back. This requirement assures that all of the payments promised in the trust agreement will go to support Arcadia.

Make fixed payments to Arcadia each year
Your lead trust makes payments to Arcadia each year of a fixed amount for as long as the trust lasts. Your lead trust can make payments to more than one charity, if you wish.

You choose the payment amount
You choose the amount that your lead trust must distribute to Arcadia University each year. Lead trust donors typically select a payment amount that is likely to preserve a substantial remainder for family or other heirs. Payments are usually made in annual installments, but semiannual or quarterly installments are possible. 

Remaining assets to heirs 
When your charitable lead trust ends, all remaining principal in the trust will be transferred to the family members or other heirs you choose.

How long can my lead trust last?
While most lead trusts last for a specified term of 10-20 years, other terms are possible. Your lead trust can last for one or more lives or for a specific length of time, or for a combination of lives and years. The term length you choose will depend on when you want your heirs to receive their trust distribution and the size of the gift or estate tax charitable deduction you want the trust to generate, as well as other factors.

Tax benefits 
Unlike other charitable trusts, the charitable lead trust generates a gift or estate tax charitable deduction, not an income tax charitable deduction.  

  • Reduce or eliminate gift or estate tax on gift to heirs if your estate exceeds the then applicable estate tax credit. 
  • Avoid all gift and estate tax on asset growth.

When you transfer assets to your lead trust, you make a taxable gift to the individuals who will receive your trusts principal when it ends. However, your gift of payments to Arcadia earns you a gift or estate tax charitable deduction in the year of your gift that will reduce, and in some cases, eliminate, your taxable gift if your estate exceeds the then applicable estate tax credit.

Some lead trust donors make a point of picking a term length and payout rate that reduces their taxable gift to zero. Doing so eliminates any possibility that they will have to pay gift or estate tax on their gift. 

In addition, the assets in your lead trust are removed from your taxable estate. This means that any growth in the value of your trusts assets during its term can be passed on to your heirs completely free of gift and estate taxes.

Taxation of the trust 
A lead trust is a taxable trust. However, a lead trust pays income tax only if its income exceeds the amount it pays to Arcadia during the year. A careful trustee can balance your lead trusts income against its charitable payments in order to minimize the income taxes paid by the trust.

Lead trusts for grandchildren 
Lead trusts for the benefit of grandchildren present special tax planning challenges related to a tax called the generation skipping tax. For example, you may want to consider creating a charitable lead unitrust in this situation, as it is easier to plan for generation skipping tax issues when creating a lead unitrust than when creating a lead trust. Please be sure to talk to your advisors or to us about these tax considerations

Suitable funding assets
You can fund your lead trust with many different kinds of assets. All of the following assets can work well:

  • cash
  • securities
  • a closely-held business
  • commercial property
  • a combination of these assets

Assets that are likely to increase substantially in value over time can be especially attractive candidates for transfer into a lead trust.

Unlike with many other planned gifts, it can be problematic to fund a lead trust with highly appreciated property. Since a lead trust is fully taxable, selling a highly appreciated asset may cause the trust to owe taxes that will deplete its principal. You will want to work closely with your advisors to pick an asset or combination of assets that will best achieve your goals for your gift.

Example

John Fitzgerald spent his career building a successful manufacturing business, which he sold a few years ago for $10,000,000. He and his wife, Melody, have three children who are in their 30s. John has been reviewing his estate plan with an eye toward adding a major gift to Arcadia. Funding a charitable lead trust offers an excellent way for John to provide generous support to Arcadia and pass assets to his three children. John chooses to create a $2,000,000 lead trust that will pay $130,000 to Arcadia each year for 20 years.

Benefits

  • The Fitzgeralds' three children will split approximately $2,409,955* when the trust ends.
  • The Fitzgeralds will earn a gift tax charitable deduction of $2,000,000**.
  • The assets used to fund the trust will not be taxable in their estate.
  • Arcadia will receive $2,600,000 from the trust over 20 years.

* Assumes the trust assets earn a 7% annual net return.
** The Fitzgeralds' estate or gift tax charitable deduction may vary depending on the timing of their gift.

Contact University Advancement

Office of University Advancement

2550 Church Road
215-572-2945
215-881-8783 (fax)
fundforarcadia@arcadia.edu
 

Alumni Engagement

Blankley Alumni House
215-572-2566
215-881-8776 (fax)
alumni@arcadia.edu

Mailing Address

Division of University Advancement
450 S. Easton Road
Glenside, PA 19038-3295 

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