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Transforming Realty to Gift Reality

Making a Gift with Real Estate

Learn more about the many ways to use real estate to support Bowdoin College in the FREE guide 7 Ways to Donate Real Estate.

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Want to make a meaningful gift to Bowdoin College without touching your bank account? Consider giving us real estate. Such a generous gift helps us continue our work for years to come. And a gift of real estate also helps you. When you give us appreciated property you have held longer than one year, you get a federal income tax charitable deduction. You avoid paying capital gains tax. And you no longer have to deal with that property's maintenance costs, property taxes or insurance.

Another benefit: You don't have to hassle with selling the real estate. You can deed the property directly to Bowdoin or ask your attorney to add a few sentences in your will or trust agreement.

Ways to Give Real Estate

You can give real estate to Bowdoin in the following ways:

An outright gift+

When you make a gift today of real estate you have owned longer than one year, you obtain a federal income tax charitable deduction equal to the property's full fair market value. This deduction lets you reduce the cost of making the gift and frees cash that otherwise would have been used to pay taxes. By donating the property to us, you also eliminate capital gains tax on its appreciation. Furthermore, the transfer is not subject to the gift tax, and the gift reduces your future taxable estate.

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A gift in your will or living trust+

A gift of real estate through your will or living trust allows you the flexibility to change your mind and the potential to support our work with a larger gift than you could during your lifetime. In as little as one sentence or two, you can ensure that your support for Bowdoin continues after your lifetime and that your estate will benefit from a federal estate tax charitable deduction. By arranging for a gift of your real estate in this way, you will be welcomed into the Bowdoin Pines Society.

A retained life estate+

Perhaps you would like to take advantage of the charitable tax deduction that a gift of real estate to Bowdoin offers, but you want to continue living in your personal residence for your lifetime. You can transfer your personal residence or farm to the College and keep the right to occupy (or rent out) the home for the rest of your life. With this type of gift arrangement, you continue to pay real estate taxes, maintenance fees and insurance on the property. Even though Bowdoin would not actually take possession of the residence until after your lifetime, because your gift cannot be revoked, you receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction for a portion of your home's value. By arranging for a gift of your real estate in this way, you will be welcomed into the Bowdoin Pines Society.

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A charitable remainder unitrust+

You can contribute any type of appreciated real estate you've owned for more than one year, provided it's unmortgaged, in exchange for an income stream for life or a term of up to 20 years. The donated property may be a residence (a personal residence must be vacant upon contribution), undeveloped land, a farm or commercial property. Real estate works well with only certain variations of charitable remainder trusts. Your estate planning attorney, who will draft your trust, can give you more details. By arranging for a gift of your real estate in this way, you will be welcomed into the Bowdoin Pines Society.

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A charitable lead trust+

This gift can be a wonderful way for you to benefit Bowdoin and simultaneously transfer appreciated real estate to your family tax-free. You should consider funding the charitable lead trust with real estate that is income-producing and expected to increase in value over the term of the trust.

eBrochure Request Form

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For answers to your questions, contact Nancy Milam or Liz Armstrong in the Office of Gift Planning at 207-725-3172 or giftplanning@bowdoin.edu. Nancy and Liz can talk to you about the possibility of giving real estate to Bowdoin.

Should you include Bowdoin in your estate plans, please use the legal name (Bowdoin College), the legal address (4100 College Station, Brunswick, ME 04011) and the Federal Tax ID number (01-0215213).

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Bowdoin College a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Bowdoin College [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor-advised fund is a charitable account sponsored by a public charity that donors use to support their philanthropy.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate, or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

A lead trust holds appreciating assets for a term of years (or for your lifetime), and makes quarterly or annual payments to Bowdoin College. The College benefits from the stream of reliable, steady gifts from the lead trust, and you're able to witness the impact of your gifts during your lifetime. At the end of the trust's term, all remaining trust assets are distributed to your designated beneficiaries with greatly reduced (in some cases zeroing out) gift and estate tax, regardless of how much the trust has grown.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Bowdoin as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Bowdoin as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Bowdoin where you agree to make a gift to Bowdoin and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

With a retained life estate, the donor(s) irrevocably deeds a personal residence or farm to the College, but retains the right to live in it for the rest of his/her life, a term of years, or a combination of the two. The term is most commonly measured by the life of the donor or of the donor and the donor’s spouse.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.