How to Complete Your Gift

Calculate Your Benefits
To extend your support of Gustavus Adolphus College, consider these five factors when arranging a retained life estate.

1. Decide whether you'd like Gustavus Adolphus College to receive your home after your lifetime. You could also decide to give a second home, vacation home, some other personal residence or farm. You'll want to work with legal or tax advisors to help you determine the best assets to leave to family vs. charity. If you determine that you would like us to receive your home at your death, it is beneficial to arrange the gift via a retained life estate now because you receive an income tax deduction in addition to possible future estate tax benefits.

2. Instruct your estate planning attorney to prepare a deed to Gustavus Adolphus College. The deed will give title to our organization, yet specifically give you a life estate in the property.

Quick Tip
Quick TipOnce you've arranged a retained life estate, you cannot give the property to anyone else or sell it. This is because you've already given the home to us, although we won't take possession of the property until sometime in the future.

3. Give the deed to Gustavus Adolphus College. This step completes the retained life estate arrangement. For all intents and purposes, your living arrangement remains largely the same. You agree to continue maintaining the home and paying taxes and insurance throughout your life. The main change—and benefit to you—is that you receive an immediate sizable income tax deduction for your charitable plans.

4. Enjoy your tax deduction this year. Your tax advisor will work with you to determine the specific amount of your tax deduction based on the appraisal of your property. We would also be happy to provide you with approximate numbers. Just contact Laurie Dietrich at 507-933-6043 or

Gift Calculator See how a retained life estate can benefit you.

5. Continue living in the home for life. You retain rights to the property no matter what life changes occur. For example, even if you choose to move to a nursing home, you still have the right to occupy the property. (In other words, your life estate continues.) We will not take possession of the property until after your death.

Your Next Steps
Getting Started | Is This Gift Right for You? | Case Study | How to Complete Your Gift | Changing a Life Estate | Action Items