Discovering the Joy of a Life Estate Gift

Date Posted: 1/9/2014

Jeanne Anderson always planned to leave her home to Methodist Retirement Communities (MRC). In 2012, she discovered a way to give her home to charity and continue to live in it as long as she wanted. By working with Heartspring Methodist Foundation, financial partner to the Texas Annual Conference, she was able to use a provision in the tax code that allowed her to make a life estate gift of her home.


With a life estate gift, you can donate your current home to a charity and continue to live in it for life or until you choose to move out. While living in the home, the donor continues to be responsible for maintenance, property taxes and insurance.


MRC and Heartspring staff met with Anderson and she decided to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. First, she had a formal appraisal done on her home to determine the value – an I.R.S. requirement as part of its formula to determine the value of this “deferred gift.” Heartspring’s C.J. Taylor prepared a proposal outlining the charitable deduction she would receive and the gift structure.


Anderson had planned on living in her home until the new MRC Creekside facility in Huntsville was completed. Last August, she moved into the retirement community and Heartspring coordinated the sale of her house. The proceeds were used to create the Jeanne Anderson Charitable Fund that provides permanent support for the Foundation for Methodist Retirement Communities with specific support for the Creekside location in Huntsville.


Anderson couldn’t be happier with the charitable giving process. She said, “I was always planning on leaving my home to MRC in my will, but I’m so happy I found a way to give the home while I’m still alive so I could enjoy the tax deduction and have the peace of mind to live in the home as long as I wanted.” She says she loves her new apartment at Creekside, especially the wonderful MRC staff, great neighbors and sense of community.


In addition to life estate gifts, Heartspring is also available to help with life income gifts like gift annuities and charitable trusts. Contact Heartspring for a free consultation on wills and estate planning, life income gifts, or to setup a customized presentation for your Sunday school class or small group. Call 713-533-3780, 800-521-9617 or email for more information.