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Gifts of Real Estate

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David and Marilyn O'Toole, A12P

David and Marilyn O'Toole, A12P
Our choice was either to sell the house in a difficult real estate market or donate it to Tufts, obtaining the tax benefits and allowing the university to sell at a more appropriate time. Tufts made the decision easy.

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The Charles Tufts Society honors alumni, staff, and friends who have included Tufts in their estate or gift plans.

Owning real estate brings unpredictable responsibilities and challenges, especially as your situation evolves over time. If your real estate doesn’t fit your lifestyle any longer, let Tufts put it to good use. There are many great reasons for giving property. You may be freed from paying real estate taxes, maintenance costs, and insurance. You can also remove the asset from your taxable estate and avoid capital gains taxes on the property’s appreciation and on the transfer.

Ways to make a gift of real estate

  • Outright gift: If you have property that is too big, too far away, or too demanding on your resources, you may want to consider making a charitable gift of real estate by transferring ownership to Tufts today. Making an outright gift of real estate gives you the largest immediate tax deduction and is the simplest way to transfer property to the university.
  • Bequest intention: Giving property through a bequest in your will or trust allows you to keep control of your real estate during your lifetime and provides a straightforward way to transfer your property after you no longer need it.
  • Charitable remainder unitrust: You can fund a “flip” charitable remainder unitrust with your property and receive both an income stream that has the potential to grow over time and an immediate charitable income tax deduction.
  • Charitable lead trust: A charitable lead trust makes payments directly to the university for a specified term of years rather than to you. When the term expires, the trust assets are transferred back to you or your designated beneficiaries, often younger family members. This gift offers significant gift, estate, and generation-skipping transfer tax savings. The income from the trust is immediately available to support the mission of the university. This type of gift is particularly appropriate for an income-producing property.
  • Bargain sale: In a bargain sale, we purchase the property for lower than its appraised value. You transfer the property to us, and you receive a lump sum plus an income tax deduction.
  • Retained life estate: If you are still using your property, you can deed your home or farm to us but reserve the right to continue living in it during your lifetime. This arrangement, called a retained life estate, creates an immediate federal income tax deduction and a federal estate tax deduction.
  • Benefits of making a gift of real estate

    • Giving your real estate to a charity such as Tufts may provide you with an income tax deduction. If the property is a long-term asset (held for over one year), you receive a charitable income tax deduction based on the appraised value.

    Frequently asked questions about real estate gifts

    What types of real estate can I give?

    We accept gifts of residential, commercial, and undeveloped real estate, pending review and approval by our Real Estate Gifts Committee.

    What if I need income?

    Your property can generate income for you or your designated beneficiaries by funding a charitable remainder unitrust.

    What do I need to do?

    • Contact the Gift Planning Office to discuss your potential gift. We can help you determine which option may be right for you.
      • Tufts will likely evaluate the condition and marketability of the property.
    • Depending on the gift type, you may need to obtain a title report and an independent, qualified appraisal to establish the fair market value of the property.

    A gift of real estate is for you if.

    • You hold residential, commercial, or undeveloped real estate that has risen in value that you are unable or no longer wish to maintain.
    • Tufts could use the property for its institutional purposes, hold the property as a source of rental income, or sell it.
    • You own the property outright or are willing to satisfy any mortgages before donating it.