Lisa B. Petkun

Lisa B. Petkun

Lisa B. Petkun is a partner in the tax department at Pepper Hamilton LLP.

Rent Property to Charity and Win

A donor owns property that he rents to third parties — property that a charitable organization could use to house its offices or one of its programs. The donor would like to benefit a charity and claim a federal income- and gift-tax deduction for the donation but doesn’t want to part with the property. What options are available?

Spousal Right of Election and Its Effects on CRTs

As noted in an earlier column, a charitable remainder trust (CRT) is a valuable tax-planning tool. However, Revenue Procedure 2005-24, issued on March 30, adds new rules to CRTs to address the problem of spouses “electing against the will,” which can arise in certain states.

A basic tenet of a CRT is that only the unitrust or annuity trust payment may be made to a non-charitable recipient.


We have previously looked at charitable remainder trusts and their role in philanthropic giving. Now let’s look at the other side of the coin: charitable lead trusts. While a charitable remainder trust combines a present non-charitable interest with a remainder interest that passes to charity, a charitable lead trust is a charitable interest followed by a non-charitable remainder.

With a charitable lead trust, the organization doesn’t have to wait until the expiration of the non-charitable interest but rather receives the interest at the start. As with remainder trusts, there are requirements governing lead trusts.

Navigating the Estate-bequest Terrain

As a general rule, inherited assets are not subject to federal income tax. But if a beneficiary receives a gift before the death of the donor, it is considered “Income in Respect of a Decedent” and will be subject to income tax in the hands of that beneficiary.

There are many of these IRD assets: savings bonds, lottery winnings, IRAs, etc. Since these assets carry income tax burdens, they’re excellent candidates for charitable giving.