Giving Real Estate

A vacant lot. A vacation home. A few acres of raw land. Some members of Epiphany have real estate like this. They have property and they don’t quite know what to do with it.
One possibility is to donate all or a portion of the property to Epiphany, either as an outright gift or in exchange for a lifetime of income.

Consider the following illustrations of how this works. Mr. and Mrs. Benson had five acres of raw land that appraised for $100,000. They purchased it years ago for $10,000, thinking they might build a house on it someday. That plan never materialized, but they continued to hold the land.

They thought of selling it more than once, but the idea of paying capital gains tax on the sale slowed them down. Also, they were overwhelmed just thinking about all the time and trouble it would take to market and sell the property. So they just let it sit there.

Then they learned that they could donate the land to WELS Foundation, which would sell it and use the proceeds to provide annual distributions to Epiphany through an endowment. Mr. and Mrs. Benson were pleased to be able to support their church in this way—and to discover that they would receive an income tax charitable deduction for the gift.

Another couple, the Andersons, established a charitable remainder trust through WELS Foundation and funded it with the gift of their vacation home. The arrangement allows them to receive income from the trust for the rest of their lives. Like the Bensons, the Andersons avoided capital gains tax and obtained an immediate income tax charitable deduction. In addition, they knew that the remainder of the trust would be distributed to Epiphany for the Lord’s work after both of them were with the Lord.


WELS Christian giving counselor, Pastor Dave Dolan, can assist you in thinking through the opportunities and issues related to real estate gifts. He is happy to come to your home or talk with you on the phone. To arrange a meeting, call him at 414-559-2322. There is no cost or obligation.

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