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Charitable Remainder Unitrust
(Complete gift description)

A charitable remainder unitrust gives you flexibility to accommodate a variety of assets, various financial goals, and the possibility of increasing trust payments over the trust term. If you wish to benefit from market upswings, but you don’t mind weathering market downturns, the unitrust may provide a perfect way to meet your goals. If you prefer a fixed annual payment stream, you should consider a charitable remainder annuity trust or a charitable gift annuity.

How it works

What are the advantages of a unitrust?

Is there a minimum contribution to establish a charitable remainder unitrust?

Federal tax law does not set a specific minimum contribution required to establish a charitable remainder unitrust. For a minimum contribution of $50,000, the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia can serve as trustee of your trust.

How do you create a unitrust?

Setting up a charitable remainder unitrust is not difficult, but you should be advised by an attorney with expertise in the area of charitable trusts and estate planning. To save you time and expense, we will be pleased to provide an initial draft of the unitrust agreement for your and your attorney’s review. Once the trust agreement has been signed, you will simply transfer assets to your trustee to fund your trust.

“Flip” unitrusts: for real estate or targeted income date

If you want to fund a trust with a gift of real estate (or other hard-to-sell assets), you might want to consider establishing a special kind of charitable unitrust known as a “Flip” unitrust. Until the trust sells the real estate, your annual payments will comprise only the net income of the trust. After the sale (or “Flip” event), you will begin receiving annual unitrust payments as described above.

A “Flip” trust may also be structured to begin making unitrust payments on a particular date or after an event that you define in your trust. For example, you may wish to begin receiving unitrust payments coincident with your retirement or when a child’s college expenses become due. Until the defined triggering date, the trust will pay only net income, which allows the trust to accumulate growth more quickly in the early years of the trust term.

Planning Point

For more information

Email us, or call us at 877-307-0158 (toll free) or 434-924-4514 (direct) so that we may answer your questions and help you through the process.


The materials provided in this website and the examples contained herein are for illustration purposes only and are not intended as legal or tax advice. We encourage you to consult your own legal and tax advisor.