A life estate is created when you make a charitable transfer of ownership of a personal residence or farm during your lifetime to PETA while maintaining a life interest in the property. In other words, you contribute a remainder interest in your property to PETA, thereby ensuring that PETA will take possession of the property upon your passing, while reserving your right to live in and use the property as you have always done for as long as you live.
The property must be a “personal residence” or a farm and can be a primary residence or one that is used as little as a few weeks per year, such as a vacation home. The process is a simple one that is accomplished through a remainder deed and an agreement that outlines your and PETA’s responsibilities for the property’s ongoing and capital expenses (you will continue to be responsible for the property’s ongoing expenses, such as property taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs).
A life estate has the following benefits:
- You can make a significant gift of your home while maintaining the right to live there.
- You may receive a charitable deduction in the year that your gift is made for the value of the remainder interest (you would need to obtain an independent appraisal of the property in order to claim the deduction).
As always, we suggest that you consult with your independent financial, tax, or legal advisor for specific help with your particular situation, as the above is intended as an introductory outline only and PETA does not provide financial, tax, or legal advice. But if you would like more information about the various ways that you can benefit PETA, please click here.