Retained Life Estate: The Details
Is this gift right for you?
A retained life estate is for you if…
- You want to use your residence to make a gift today to Washington and Lee, but don't want to move out.
- Your home is not subject to a mortgage or other obligations.
- You are willing to deed your home, cabin, or farm to W&L if you can continue to live there rent-free.
- You can continue to maintain your home.
- You do not need the funds that would be generated by selling the property.
- You wish to reduce your estate taxes.
An attractive option for donating real estate is the retained life estate. This arrangement allows you to give your home to Washington and Lee University while retaining the right to live there for the rest of your life.
Ownership of your real estate will be transferred to Washington and Lee at a future date, yet you are entitled to an immediate tax deduction and retain the rights and obligations of ownership for life. You will continue to be responsible for its taxes, structural maintenance, insurance, and upkeep.
You will receive a charitable deduction based on the fair market value of your home minus the present value of the life tenancy you have retained. Additionally, any capital improvements, such as a new roof, may give rise to additional deductions.
With a retained life estate, you are able to make a significant gift to Washington and Lee without disturbing your income or your living arrangements.