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<<I am interested in purchasing some land in Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Idaho; maybe 5-10 acres, not as an investment, but as a possible retirement area.

However, I would like to be able to be 100% certain that this land will always be there. I have heard that it's possible to donate the land to a charity with the stipulation that I retain usage of the land until I die, at which point the charity owns the land. If I do this, is the donation tax deductible? If so, is it deductible now or when I die?

Second, and more importantly, is it true that in this situation, there is absolutely nothing that can take this land away? Hypothetically if I went bankrupt, owned money to everyone and his mother, etc... I would still have access to this land, correct?>>

You're referring to a charitable remainder trust. That's a vehicle in which you donate property to a charity while retaining the right to use that property during your lifetime. Under the right circumstances, it can provide you with a current tax deduction while preserving your use of the asset. It takes an attorney to set one up properly, but what you describe can be accomplished. If you're interested in doing that, you should consult an estate/trust attorney in your area who is experienced in these matters. Your local chapter of the American Bar Association should be able to provide you a referral.


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