Gifts of Real Estate

Depending on the circumstances that are involved, gifts of real estate can be an effective means of planning a gift. Much of the individual wealth in America is invested in real estate. while the first thought often is a home or farm, real estate also can involve a vacation or second home, an apartment or commercial building, a shopping center, or undeveloped land.

Often our real estate holdings, be it our house, a second home or investment property, is a significant part of our net worth. Gifts of real estate, therefore, can enable us to make significant contributions. Each piece of property and its unique circumstances need to be reviewed to determine the suitability of the property as a gift. Generally speaking, a rule of thumb is that an acceptable piece of property is one that can be readily sold.

Also, there are many ways to donate property. It can be an outright gift, a retained life estate, or placed in a trust. In any case, while we discuss some generalities here about donating real estate, if you are considering such a gift to the California Scottish Rite Foundation, please contact us to discuss its suitability, benefits and to discuss your unique circumstances.

There can be significant advantages to using property as a charitable gift. A gift of real estate can be the answer to a number of concerns.

Bargain Sales

A bargain sale occurs when a donor sells property to a charity for less than the fair market value of the property. The transaction is treated as part sale and part gift, giving rise to a partial charitable deduction. The amount of the gift is the excess of fair market value over the sale price. However, the excess must be reduced by the long term capital gain or unrealized ordinary income or trust term capital gain of the property. This kind of sale can be complicated and should be overseen by knowledgeable advisors to both the donor and to the charity.