Charitable Trusts Law and Legal Definition

A charitable trust is used to make donations and realize tax savings for an estate. Typically, there is a transfer of property such as art or real estate to a trust which continues to hold the asset until it is transferred to the charity, usually after your death. The donor can continue to enjoy the use of the property, then the charitable gift may be deductible for estate tax purposes.

In the United States there are complex tax law differences between private and public charities. A charitable trust is often called a foundation, however, the use of the word "foundation" in an organization's name generally does not automatically qualify the entity for any legal benefit.