Charitable Lead Trust

A charitable lead trust (CLT) enables you to make significant charitable gifts now while transferring substantial assets to beneficiaries later.  This is how it works: a trust is set up from which the Foundation receives annual payments for your life or for a specified number of years (up to 35 years).  These payments may be distributed to any fund you specify.  When the trust terminates, the trust principal is returned to you or distributed to your children or others whom you may designate.  The trust assets pass to the recipients at reduced tax cost, sometimes even tax-free.


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

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