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How can I give my home and keep it too?

Sheila Davis

“It gives me great satisfaction to know that my bequest to IONS will contribute to future research projects.”
–Sheila Davis

A charitable life estate agreement allows you to donate a personal residence or farm while retaining the right to live there throughout your lifetime. Donors who enter a life estate agreement receive an immediate income tax deduction. The deduction is based on the present value of the home discounted by the estimated length of time the charity must wait to receive the home. This means a person age 70 will receive a larger deduction than will a person age 50, all other things being equal.

The IRS grants the deduction even though the donor continues to enjoy full use of the home. The IRS also expects the owner to assume full responsibility for the care and maintenance of the home. Life tenancy agreements simply continue things as they are currently, with the donor handling maintenance, property taxes, insurance, and the like. The major benefits to the donor are continued use of the home, an immediate charitable income tax deduction, avoidance of probate and estate tax on the property, and the satisfaction of making a substantial gift to an organization such as IONS during one's lifetime.

For more information, contact Cathy Coleman at 707-779-8271 or

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