Life-Income Stories

Charitable Remainder Unitrust

Did you know you can make a gift that supports nature while providing yourself or loved ones with a stream of income and significant tax savings? Malcolm “Mac” Hunter and wife Aram Calhoun discovered this when they funded a flip charitable remainder unitrust (CRT) with mutual funds. The flip CRT allows donors to give today in anticipation of future financial needs.

Sooner Versus Later

According to Mac Hunter and Aram Calhoun, nature is part and parcel of their lives. In fact, these University of Maine Wildlife Ecology professors live among the trees in a small hamlet located on the edge of a vast area of forests and lakes. This bucolic landscape plays a prominent role in their plans for life after working in academia. 

“We have worked our whole lives and so are used to having an adequate and predictable income,” says Mac. “While still in the prime of our professional careers, we’re exploring ways of maintaining the lifestyle we enjoy today, even in retirement.”

Local Results and a Global Reach 

Mac and Aram know one thing for sure – that they will donate the bulk of their estate to conservation. It represents a cause close to their heart – one which receives only a small percentage of charitable giving within the United States. 

As long-time members with a presence on the Maine Chapter’s Board of Trustees, Mac and Aram chose The Nature Conservancy to be the recipient of the bulk of their bequest. Their deep familiarity with the organization gives them confidence that a lifetime of hard work will eventually benefit nature locally and around the world. 

“In Maine, the Conservancy has played a pivotal role in conservation efforts, including the protection of 60,000 acres of land abutting our property,” adds Mac, who also expresses great pride in the organization’s reach beyond the Pine Tree State. “The Chapter also dedicates resources to projects outside of its borders – usually in places with forests and streams similar to our local landscape, but also to locations like Africa – a continent lacking adequate support for protecting natural ecosystems found nowhere else on Earth.” 

Best Financial Fit 

Secure in naming the Conservancy as the recipient of a significant charitable gift – Mac and Aram set to work determining the most appropriate financial vehicle. With help from the Conservancy’s Gift Planning staff, they settled on a flip charitable remainder unitrust (CRT)

“We presented Mac and Aram with options tailored to people like them, who have worked their entire lives and are accustomed to an income that can support a mix of comfort, adventure and generous giving,” says Sarah Lutte, an associate director of philanthropy at The Nature Conservancy. “The flip CRT was a perfect fit that will support their goals into retirement.”   

The flip CRT offers attractive tax advantages to donors like Mac and Aram, while giving the trust time to grow. Then, at a specific time in the future – which in in their case will be retirement – the trust will “flip” and give back in the way of payouts that will help them maintain the income stream to which they have become accustomed. 

Mac adds, “We feel confident that the timing was right to give the Conservancy this significant gift. We are glad we chose to work with them to make it happen.”

If you own assets that might take a while to sell – such as real estate or stock in a closely-held corporation or partnership – you might consider a flip CRT. The Nature Conservancy’s Gift Planning experts can work with you one-on-one to develop a personalized gift plan that reflects your financial and philanthropic goals and values.

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