from The New York Times:
A Trust Surges, Heirs and Taxes in Mind, but Mind the Details
The charitable lead trust is a tool used by the rich to pass on money to heirs while avoiding certain taxes, but establishing such a trust is complicated.
… The best candidates for these trusts are people who give annually to charity and have an income large enough to take advantage of the charitable tax deduction for the entire amount put into the trust. (The federal deduction for charitable donations is capped at 50 percent of a person’s income, though it can be carried forward for five years.)
Gregory D. Singer, a wealth strategist at Bernstein Global Wealth Management in New York, said such trusts could be worthwhile for those able to put at least $1 million into them. “The downside is that money is tied up and committed,” he said. “In normal times, I’d rather remain flexible, but these aren’t normal times.”