Case Study

The following is an illustration of how this type of donation works.

Tom has never been able to resist the ocean. After years of vacationing on the coast with his wife and three daughters, 18 years ago Tom decided to make one of his lifelong dreams come true by purchasing a second home near the ocean.

The property he bought for $200,000 is now worth $400,000. Wanting to make a difference at a qualified charitable organization, Tom (now 83) discovered that he could make a charitable gift of his vacation home and continue to use, for the rest of his life, the home he has grown to love.

Quick Tip
Quick TipWork with your legal and tax advisors to make sure a retained life estate is right for you. We are also happy to answer any questions you may have about supporting Gustavus Adolphus College, without obligation.

How It Works

By deeding his vacation home now and retaining a life estate, Tom will obtain a sizable charitable income tax deduction this year—based on his age and the current value of his property. In addition, he retains the right to use his vacation home at any time and is responsible for maintenance, insurance and property taxes.

The Tax Benefits

Based on the market value of the property (the house: $300,000, and the land: $100,000) and Tom's life expectancy, his certified public accountant determines his income tax deduction to be $313,011.1

If you have questions about arranging a retained life estate with Gustavus Adolphus College, please contact Laurie Dietrich at 507-933-6043 or

1Based on a 2.4 percent charitable midterm federal rate.