Ways to Give

Charitable Remainder Trusts

Geography matters

With a charitable remainder trust, you can make a major donation of capital, while you continue to receive income. Find out more, depending on where you live:

Charitable Remainder Trust: Canada

A flexible gift

With a charitable remainder trust, you can make a major donation of capital, which is held by a bank or trust company, while you continue to receive the income. You will receive an immediate tax receipt for an amount calculated according to the current value of the capital. Upon death, the capital is passed to McGill to support a University priority that you have chosen.

A charitable remainder trust can also be established through a bequest. Most often, the assets are used to provide for the needs of a surviving spouse or other heir(s) during their lifetime. Upon death, the assets pass to McGill.

Things to consider:

  • You will receive an immediate charitable tax receipt.
  • If your charitable receipt exceeds the standard 75 per cent of your net income, you can carry the excess tax credit forward for up to five years.
  • Although there is no set standard amount for a charitable remainder trust, an investment of a minimum of $150,000 is often suggested.
  • You can support a University priority that meets your interest, such as student aid, building projects, programs or research. (We encourage you to do so in consultation with the Bequests and Planned Gifts staff.)

Information on this site is of a general nature and not intended to constitute financial or legal advice. Please consult your income tax, financial and/or legal advisors before arranging a planned gift. All requests for information are confidential.

Charitable Trusts: U.S.

Important details

All charitable trusts by U.S. citizens, whether they attended McGill or not, and whether during life or after death, under will, should be in the name of “The Friends of McGill University, Inc.” The I.R.S. Tax Number is #237054819.

Charitable Remainder Trust

Assets can be irrevocably transferred to the qualified charitable remainder trust (CRT). A donor receives income for life or a term of years, not to exceed 20 years. “The Friends of McGill University, Inc.” must be made beneficiary of inter vivos or testamentary CRTs.

Tax benefits and other advantages to donor

  • Reduces taxable estate
  • Immediate U.S. income tax charitable deduction for the present value of the remainder interest
  • No capital gains tax occurs when appreciated assets are contributed to the remainder trust
  • The trust may sell the property and re-invest the proceeds with no tax on the gain
  • One or two beneficiaries receive either a fixed amount (annuity trust) or variable amount (unitrust), for the term of the remainder trust
  • A donor must name “The Friends of McGill University, Inc.” as the remainder beneficiary
  • Variation: Fund college tuition and grad school for a named beneficiary for a term of years, e.g. seven years, remainder to “The Friends of McGill University, Inc.”

Charitable Lead Trust – U.S. Residents

In a charitable lead trust, a donor transfers property into a trust, creating an income interest in the property in favour of “The Friends of McGill University, Inc.” for a period of years. The remainder interest is either retained by the donor or given to another family member.

Like charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts may be either annuity trusts paying a fixed annuity to a charity, or unitrusts paying a variable annuity. 

Tax benefits and other advantages to donor

You receive an immediate charitable tax deduction for the present value of the income payments. This is useful if you have plenty of cash now, but may be concerned about your long-term financial picture – the gift you get back. Or, the remainder interest may pass to other family members at the end of the term.

Information on this site is of a general nature and not intended to constitute financial or legal advice. Please consult your income tax, financial and/or legal advisors before arranging a planned gift. All requests for information are confidential.