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Charitable Lead Trusts

Substantial tax benefits can be realized from establishing a charitable lead trust. Therefore, if you hope to transfer assets to your heirs with limited taxation, a lead trust might be an option for you.

With a lead trust, you may transfer assets to a trustee of your choosing or to BIDMC. The trustee makes annual payments to the charity (BIDMC) for a specific term of years (typically between 10 and 25 years). When the trust term has ended, the principal plus any appreciation is transferred to your beneficiaries, typically, but not limited to, children or grandchildren.

In exchange for this gift, you receive a federal estate tax deduction equal to the estimated value of the annual trust payments to BIDMC. Moreover, any appreciation in the assets during the term of the trust is not subject to additional gift or estate tax. As a result, you are often able to pass on to your heirs a larger estate after tax than would otherwise be possible.

Lead trusts are fairly complex gifts with many variables to consider. Therefore, it is highly recommended that an attorney and/or financial advisor be consulted when you are considering this gift to help you reach your personal and financial goals.

Summary of benefits:

  • Make a significant gift to BIDMC while also transferring assets to your heirs.
  • Have the potential to provide an inheritance to your heirs while saving now and in the future on income, gift, and/or estate taxes.
  • Receive membership in the Lunn Society, BIDMC's recognition society for individuals who have made a planned gift.

Note: The information on this Web site is not intended to serve as legal or financial advice. When planning a specific charitable gift, the services of a legal or financial advisor should be obtained.

Contact Information

Office of Development
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue (BR)
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 667-7330
(617) 667-7340 (fax)
development@bidmc.harvard.edu