Charitable Lead Trust

A charitable lead trust (CLT) enables your clients to make significant charitable gifts now while transferring substantial assets to beneficiaries later.  First a trust is established, from which the Foundation receives annual payments during the donor's lifetime or for a specified number of years (up to 35 years). These payments may be distributed to any fund that a donor specifies. When the trust terminates, the trust principal is returned to your client or distributed to their children or to others that are designated. The trust assets pass to the recipients at reduced tax cost, sometimes even tax-free.


  • The CLT shelters investment earnings from taxes, and it offers gift, estate, and generation-skipping tax benefits. 
  • A CLT can be established during a donor's lifetime or through a will.
  • The donor may choose to have either a fixed percentage of the trust assets or a set dollar amount distributed to a fund at the Foundation.
  • The fund can continue to grow and support the community even after the trust terminates.
  • A charitable lead trust may appeal to those who want to reduce their estate taxes or want to delay their heirs' receipt of an inheritance.
  • The recommended minimum to establish a CLT at the Foundation is $1 million.

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