Retained Life Estate

A retained life estate gift allows you to live out your years in your home, while knowing your property will someday significantly benefit Dartmouth.
bartlett tower


  • Immediate tax benefit: Take a charitable income tax deduction for a portion of your property’s appraised value in the year you make your real estate gift.
  • Future tax benefit: Reduce your estate tax and probate costs.
  • Simplify settlement: Relieve your estate executors of the time and expenses related to transferring or selling property; likewise, you’ll minimize family disputes over ownership of your home or land.
  • Recognition: Become a member of The Bartlett Tower Society.

How It Works

A retained life estate gift allows you to make a significant, meaningful contribution to Dartmouth without immediately parting with your assets. You may transfer ownership of a primary residence, second home, farm, or land to Dartmouth now, but retain use during your lifetime. For example, you can continue to call your home “home,” generate income from a rental property, or use forest land for recreational purposes.

This is an ideal planned giving option if you have eligible real estate assets you do not wish to pass on through your estate, but still want to enjoy or earn income from during your lifetime.

After you—and any dependents or beneficiaries—pass, Dartmouth will take possession of the property. The College will then sell the assets and use the proceeds to support programs or initiatives you specify.

Other considerations for a retained life estate gift:

  • While you're occupying or managing your property, you will still be responsible for taxes, insurance, and upkeep.
  • You may continue to improve a home to increase its value. You could then qualify for additional deductions.

Next Steps

If you’re interested in a retained life estate gift, contact the Gift Planning Office to learn more or find out if your property is eligible.

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Plan at a glance

Under 40
Reduce Income Tax
Reduce Capital Gains
Reduce Estate Taxes
Real Estate
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