Leverage Unproductive Real Estate

I personally love real estate investments. Real estate also plays an extremely large role in the estate planning process. As mentioned in previous posts, your home (or other real estate holdings) often forms the bulk of your assets, and figures largely in the creation of your family’s estate plan. But real estate can serve as far more than just the cornerstone of your estate plan, especially if you have property aside from your family home.

In the current downswing of the real estate market, many people are finding that holding on to unproductive property is becoming a financial hardship. And yet they are reluctant to sell the property at a loss. Enid Ablowitz, in her article Giving the Gift of Real Estate, has some excellent suggestions on how to get the most out of property that no longer serves your family or your business, including giving the property as a charitable donation, transferring the property into a charitable “lead” trust, and keeping the property in a retained life estate.

Ablowitz suggests in her article that unproductive property can be turned into an asset when used as a charitable gift. In fact, Ablowitz writes, “When there is charitable intent, there are many scenarios where a gift of property can also be tax-wise.”

If you think you might like to look further into leveraging your property—for charitable purposes or otherwise—your estate planning attorney can help. Our office can answer your questions about the tax advantages of making a charitable donation of property, or alternatively of keeping the property, but holding it in a separate protective entity such as an LLP or FLP.

When considering your estate, your property is likely your greatest asset. Let our firm help you decide how to make the most of your property, whether you choose to leverage it now or keep it safe for the future.