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In general terms, a remainder interest refers to someone with a future interest in an asset. It may be a future interest in the estate created by a trust, a contingent interest when a life tenant surrenders a claim to the estate, or a vested interest that becomes effective at a specified future date. It is often created when a grantor leaves property to pass to a family member upon the grantor's death.
For example, a charitable remainderman is a charitable organization that receives the assets remaining in the charitable remainder trust (CRT), when the trust reaches its term. The charitable remaindermen must be named expressly in the trust document or according to specific instructions and criteria in the trust document.