Office of Gift Planning — Wills, Trusts, & Estates

Charitable Lead Trusts

A charitable lead trust is a philanthropic vehicle that can provide substantial capital support to the University of Virginia now, and later pass assets on to heirs with a minimum of gift or estate taxes. A lead trust is an ideal vehicle for funding a U.Va. building project or other immediate need.

Lead Trust Basics

  • A lead trust is an irrevocable gift to the University of Virginia.
  • The minimum funding level is $500,000 if U.Va. is to serve as trustee.
  • You transfer assets into the trust for use by the University for either a term of years or for your lifetime, as you decide.
  • While the trust is in effect, the University invests the funds and makes trust payments to the U.Va. school(s) or program(s) you designate.
  • At the end of the trust term, the assets are returned either to you or to your heirs, depending on your financial goals.

The benefits of a charitable lead trust, including possible estate tax, gift tax, and income tax benefits, will vary depending on your financial situation.

Let us thank you. Notify the University of your lead trust and join the Cornerstone Society.

The University of Virginia does not provide legal, tax or financial advice. We strongly recommend that you consult professional advisors on all legal, tax or financial matters, including gift planning considerations. To ensure compliance with certain IRS requirements, we disclose to you that this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of avoiding tax-related penalties.


Jason Chestnutt, CFP®
Office of Gift Planning
Telephone: 800-688-9882