Outright gifts or bequests of real property have many advantages, including bypassing capital gains and reducing estate taxes. Gifts of real estate can include a house, apartment building, farm, vacation home, commercial building, or land (either income-producing or non-income-producing). Donors can make outright gifts of real estate now or through their estate, or use the property to fund a charitable remainder trust that provides income to the donor or the donor's children.
A gift of real estate typically requires certain procedural steps, including a site visit to the property, a qualified appraisal, a preliminary title report, and an environmental assessment. There are even ways to make such a gift—and achieve tax advantages now—while continuing to receive lifetime income from an income-producing property or retaining lifetime use of the property.