A Charitable Remainder Unitrust (CRUT) is an irrevocable trust created for the purpose of donating a fixed percentage of a trust to a charitable organization each year.
The fixed percentage must be at least 5% per year but no more than 50%, under current law. At a specified time (usually at the death of the person that established the trust), the remaining assets are distributed to charity. A Charitable Remainder Unitrust is a mechanism that allows you to create tax-advantaged income in your lifetime with the ultimate end of donating a large portion of the principle to charity.
By naming yourself as the Trustee of a CRUT, you can have control of the investments and management of the Trust. You may also name a beneficiary to continue receiving income after your death (usually the spouse is chosen).
The money earned from investments within your CRUT is not subject to the Capital Gains Tax, and transfers to the CRUT will in most cases result in some sort of tax-deduction. Very often, people contribute a significant amount of shares of a company into a CRUT.
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