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Charitable Lead Trust

Planning Tip:
Current Low Interest Rates Make for an Ideal Time for the Charitable Lead Trust!

With a lead trust, you transfer assets to a trustee, such as Harvard. The trustee pays an annual sum to Harvard Law School for a specific term of years, usually 10-25. The assets of the trust can be invested and managed by Harvard. When the trust terminates, the principal plus any appreciation is transferred to your beneficiaries, typically, but not limited to, children or grandchildren.

You qualify for a charitable gift tax deduction equal to the estimated present value of the annual trust payments to the Law School. Moreover, any appreciation in the assets during the term of the trust is not subject to additional tax. As a result, you are often able to pass on to your heirs a larger estate after tax than otherwise would be possible.

Lead trusts managed by Harvard can be established with gifts of $1 million or greater. If you establish a Harvard-managed Charitable Lead Trust with a gift of $2 million or more, you can name non-Harvard charities as income beneficiaries for up to 50 percent of the income.

To request a personal gift illustration, please contact Harvard Law School's Planned Giving staff at 617-384-9932 or plannedgiving@law.harvard.edu.

Last modified: August 16, 2013

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