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Transforming Realty to Gift Reality

Want to make a big gift to the Unitarian Universalist Association without touching your bank account? Consider giving us real estate. Such a generous gift helps us continue committing UU values into action for years to come. And a gift of real estate also helps you. When you give us appreciated property you have held longer than one year, you get a federal income tax charitable deduction. This eliminates capital gains tax. And you no longer have to deal with that property's maintenance costs, property taxes or insurance.

Another benefit: You don't have to hassle with selling the real estate. You can deed the property directly to the UUA or ask your attorney to add a few sentences in your will or trust agreement.

Ways to Give Real Estate

You can give real estate to the UUA in the following ways:

An outright gift+

When you make a gift today of real estate you have owned longer than one year, you obtain a federal income tax charitable deduction equal to the property's full fair market value. This deduction lets you reduce the cost of making the gift and frees cash that otherwise would have been used to pay taxes. By donating the property to the UUA, you also eliminate capital gains tax on its appreciation. Furthermore, the transfer is not subject to the gift tax, and the gift reduces your future taxable estate.

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A gift in your will or living trust+

A gift of real estate through your will or living trust allows you the flexibility to change your mind and the potential to support our work with a larger gift than you could during your lifetime. In as little as one sentence or two, you can ensure that your support for the UUA continues after your lifetime and that your estate will benefit from a federal estate tax charitable deduction.

A retained life estate+

Perhaps you like the tax advantages a gift of real estate to our organization would offer, but you want to continue living in your personal residence for your lifetime. You can transfer your personal residence or farm to the UUA but keep the right to occupy (or rent out) the home for the rest of your life. You continue to pay real estate taxes, maintenance fees and insurance on the property. Even though we would not actually take possession of the residence until after your lifetime, since your gift cannot be revoked, you receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction for a portion of your home's value.

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A deferred charitable gift annuity+

Are you tired of the hassles of maintaining your property such as paying taxes, utilities and repair bills? Consider donating the property to the UUA in exchange for reliable payments for life for you (and someone else, if you choose). When you arrange a charitable gift annuity, you're allowed a federal income tax charitable deduction in the year you set up the gift annuity when you itemize on your taxes. If you use appreciated real estate to make a gift, you can usually eliminate capital gains tax on a portion of the gift and spread the rest of the gain over your life expectancy. A gift of unmortgaged property to fund a deferred gift annuity is preferable and generates the greatest tax benefit.

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A bargain sale+

Want to sell us your property for less than the fair market value? A "bargain sale" may be the answer. When you make a bargain sale, you sell your property to our organization for less than what it's worth. The difference between the actual value and the sale price is considered a gift to us. A bargain sale can be an effective way to dispose of property that has increased in value, and it is the only gift vehicle that can give you a lump sum of cash and a charitable deduction at the same time.

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A charitable remainder unitrust+

You can contribute any type of appreciated real estate you've owned for more than one year, provided it's unmortgaged, in exchange for an income stream for life or a term of up to 20 years. The donated property may be a residence (a personal residence must be vacant upon contribution), undeveloped land, a farm or commercial property. Real estate works well with only certain variations of charitable remainder trusts. Your estate planning attorney, who will draft your trust, can give you more details.

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A charitable lead trust+

This gift can be a wonderful way for you to benefit the UUA and simultaneously transfer appreciated real estate to your family tax-free. You should consider funding the charitable lead trust with real estate that is income-producing and expected to increase in value over the term of the trust.

An Example of How It Works

Woman smiling Emory purchased her home years ago and has watched it grow steadily in value. Still active in her career and traveling frequently, she's beginning to find home ownership more and more of a hassle. At this stage of her life, Emory has decided to move to a 55+ condominium development, where all exterior maintenance is provided. Emory sees this as an opportunity to give her existing house to a cause that's important to her while realizing valuable tax benefits.

Emory qualifies for a federal income tax charitable deduction of $250,000, which is for her home's fair market value today. She is able to claim 30 percent of her $200,000 adjusted gross income, or $60,000, in the year of the gift. In the five years following, she can continue to use up the remaining $190,000 deduction. Emory is happy in her new condo and loves knowing that the gift of her house will make a big difference supporting our mission to bring Unitarian Universalist values into action.

Discover Gifts That Pay

Your payments depend on your age at the time of the donation. If you are younger than 65, we recommend that you learn more about your options and download this FREE guide Plan for Retirement With a Deferred Gift Annuity.