Charitable Remainder Unitrusts: FAQs

Who can serve as trustee of my unitrust?

In working with your team of professional advisors, a number of choices are available as to who would be the best trustee for you. Please contact us to discuss this further.

How would the assets in my unitrust be invested?

If the assets in the trust are liquid such as cash or securities, typically a unitrust is invested in a balanced portfolio that is designed to produce both income and growth over the term of the trust. If the trust assets are primarily nonliquid assets such as real estate or personal property, the trust may be held for growth in capital appreciation rather than current income. At some later date, the nonliquid assets could be sold (avoiding capital gains taxes) to be reinvested to produce income for the income beneficiaries.

Is it better to give cash or appreciated securities?

Gifts of cash or appreciated property yield almost the same results for tax deduction purposes. However, gifts of appreciated property have the added value of avoiding capital gains taxes.

How will income from my unitrust be taxed?

Your income will be taxed according to the type of investments and payout rate of the trust. You will usually pay tax at the ordinary income level on any ordinary income that is distributed, up to your full payment. The rest of your income will be taxed at the next lowest rate, usually as capital gains, then as tax-free return of principal. If you desire to know your taxation rates when you fund your life income gift, you might want to consider a charitable gift annuity or deferred gift annuity.

Can I give real estate or other property to a unitrust?

In most cases, yes. The value of the trust principal will be determined by a qualified appraisal of the property. However, real estate or other property may not be producing income and thus the income beneficiaries may receive no or very little income until these assets are sold and reinvested to produce income.

Can I include my children as income beneficiaries?

Yes, subject to certain limitations.

What are the tax deduction implications of my Charitable Remainder Unitrust?

A Charitable Remainder Unitrust is a powerful tool that can save you income, capital gain, estate, andinheritance taxes depending on your circumstances and state of domicile. A qualified advisor is crucial to assist you in maximizing these benefits.



  • More detail about Charitable Remainder Unitrusts.
  • Contact us so we can assist you through every step.




The material presented on this Planned Giving website is not offered as legal or tax advice.
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