Charitable lead trusts

Inheritance grows while strengthening the community.

By Ret Boney

Ron and Jeanette Doggett wanted their descendants to inherit not only a portion of their wealth, but also a large dose of their passion for philanthropy.

So when their family company, GoodMark Foods in Raleigh, N.C., merged with ConAgra, they decided to try to accomplish both those goals, and receive a charitable deduction, by forming a charitable lead trust using a gift of stock from the newly merged company.

The lead trust holds the assets and, for a period of 30 years, a percentage of the interest generated by the trust will be transferred to the Ron E. and Jeannette R. Doggett Endowment Fund at the Triangle Community Foundation in nearby Research Triangle Park.

The interest generated from the endowment fund then will be gifted to charities in the community that are working in the areas of human services and basic human needs, as specified by the funds’ advisors.

To involve their grown children in the process of philanthropy, the couple named them as advisors to the fund, so the children, working with the foundation, will determine which charities receive how much in grants from the fund.

“We want the children to participate in choosing programs within our interest area so that they’re knowledgeable about the needs in the community,” Ron Doggett told the foundation.

After 30 years, the total assets of the lead trust, including 30 years of appreciation, will go to the Doggett’s grandchildren, free of gift taxes.

Over the 30-year life of the trust, the foundation estimates, charity will receive twice the value of the Doggett’s original gift, and the assets will triple.

And the endowment fund will live on in perpetuity at the foundation, contributing to the health and well-being of the community.

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