Helpful Definitions 

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The charitable lead trust is one of the more complex charitable estate planning tools. To better understand the major concepts that define this trust, review this short list of terms and definitions.

Grantor: the person who transfers assets into a trust for his/her own benefit or the benefit of others.

Trust: a written legal instrument created by the grantor for his/her own benefit or the benefit of others.

Charitable lead trust: a type of trust you create that makes payments to charity for a defined period of time; after that the trust's assets are distributed to either you (called a grantor charitable lead trust) or your chosen loved ones (called a family charitable lead trust).
  • Grantor charitable lead trust: a type of trust you create that makes payments to a charity for a defined period of time; after that the trust's assets are distributed back to you; it provides you with an income tax deduction.
  • Family charitable lead trust: a type of trust you create that makes payments to a charity for a defined period of time; after that the trust's assets are distributed to your chosen loved ones; it provides you with gift or estate tax deductions.
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Currently low interest rates make this giving option more attractive than ever. Ask us for a personalized illustration to see your possible tax benefits from a charitable lead trust.

Charitable remainder trust: Helpful for comparison purposes, this type of trust is often considered the opposite of a charitable lead trust. You create the trust that makes payments to you (or other loved ones as selected by you) for a defined period of time (usually either for your lifetime or a fixed period of time up to 20 years); after that the balance in the trust is distributed to the charities as initially selected by you; it provides you with an income tax deduction.

Income beneficiary: the name given to the charity who receives payments from a charitable lead trust or the individuals who receive the payments from a charitable remainder trust.

Remainder beneficiary: the name given to the individuals who receive the trust assets from a charitable lead trust or the charities who receive the trust assets from a charitable remainder trust.

Trustee: the individual or institution entrusted with the duty of managing property placed in the trust; a co-trustee serves as trustee with another; a contingent trustee becomes trustee upon the occurrence of a specified future event.


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We're happy to help answer any questions you have about this way to support our organization and your family. Just contact Steve Brier at (866) 204-8102 or sbrier@willamette.edu.