For those who want to leave farmland or a personal residence to a charitable organization, with an income tax or federal estate tax deduction1 but set it up such that the income goes to the surviving spouse, it’s been possible to use a very simple procedure – a life estate to the surviving spouse and a remainder interest to the charity.2 The alternative, if a charitable deduction is desired, as is nearly always the case, is to set up a charitable remainder annuity trust, charitable remainder unitrust or a pooled income fund.3 The simplicity of a legal life estate to the surviving spouse with a remainder interest to the charity has been an appealing choice for many and still assures favorable tax treatment.



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