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Ask Dave

Charitable Remainder Trust a Good Idea?

Dave doesn't like the idea that Steve's parents should put 100% of their holdings in a charitable remainder trust.

QUESTION: Steve’s parents have been advised to put 100% of their holdings in a charitable remainder trust.  Part of it will go on to the children, but the rest will go to the charity.  Should they do this?

ANSWER: With this type of trust, part of their estate will go to you, but the rest will go to a charity.  Then, when you die, the rest of that money will not go to your children, but to the charity.  There’s no change in the family tree with this type of plan.  It goes to one generation and then it goes away.

They should leave their money to you and not pay a dime in estate taxes and they can leave money to a charity and not pay any estate taxes.  The only way I’d consider a charitable remainder trust is if my net worth was well over $2 million.  Otherwise, a simply family trust is the way to go.