Flip CRUTs: Charitable Remainder Unitrusts and Real Estate

Leveraging increased property values to support you and Duke.

Location, location, location!  With the booming real estate market, you may own some property that has substantially increased in value. Here in Durham, for instance, home values have gone up 34% over the past year and 119% over the past decade.

Due to rapid increases in property values, the income you are seeing from rental property may not be keeping up with the real estate market. You may have also considered selling your real property but are concerned about capital gains taxes.

A Flip Charitable Remainder Unitrust (CRUT) may be an excellent way for you to support your favorite charity while receiving income payments for many years. By funding a Flip CRUT with appreciated real estate, you may also defer or avoid much of the capital gain embedded in the property. This strategy can also allow you to supplement your income at a future date, such as when you retire.

A Flip CRUT could be right for you if:

  • You want to donate illiquid assets such as real estate
  • You are interested in saving taxes on capital gains and income taxes
  • You would like to supplement your income
  • You want to make a generous gift and support a favorite charity, like Duke University

In most cases, donors should own the real estate for at least one year to optimize these advantages, and the property should not be encumbered by a mortgage or other debt.

Interested in learning more? Download our Donating Real Estate guide, or contact Duke’s charitable planning professionals in the Office of Gift Planning at (919) 681-0464 or giftplanning@duke.edu. We also encourage you to discuss this and other charitable giving strategies with your personal financial and tax advisors.

TAGS: Charitable Giving Strategies charitable remainder trusts gifts of real estate

About the author

Jane Lee Heuser


As the Associate Director of Trusts and Estates, Jane manages the day-to-day administration of Duke’s charitable trust and gift annuity accounts.  Prior to joining Duke, Jane managed trusts and estates at a Durham law firm and served as Vice President with the Northern Trust Company in Chicago. Jane loves to travel, is an avid baker and keeps busy with her family and volunteer work.