How a Charitable Remainder Trust Provides Security and a Lasting Legacy
Born and raised in Oregon, Deborah and Jimmy Greear embrace alternative ways of living infused with a pioneering spirit. Deborah, raised in Dunthorpe, founded Lake Oswego’s first vegetarian, organic restaurant. Over the years Vanport-born, self-made Jimmy owned Natures natural food store and Long Hair Music record store, imported incense from India and co-owned a tree farm in Myrtle Point.
In the 1990s the couple lived off grid in Hawaii, growing their own food, generating solar power and living in harmony with their surroundings – a way of life that required very low overhead.
Then Deborah’s father, a retired Good Samaritan Hospital orthopedic surgeon, died back in Oregon, leaving her a sizeable gift of stock. “We didn’t need the money. But we did need a little bit more income,” she says.
At the recommendation of her attorney and OCF’s Greg Chaillé, the couple opened a charitable remainder trust (CRT) with the inherited stock, setting up a steady income stream for life. A few years after setting up the CRT, Jimmy contributed his interest in the tree farm to the CRT, resulting in increased payments.
“Greg Chaillé really fell in love with us,” Deborah recalls. “He thought we were quirky. He thought we were hippies, amusing. And he liked our story — what we were doing, and the way that we lived. And he said, ‘Alright, we’ll take your money,’ and everything went on from there.”
A Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT) is a tax-advantaged estate planning and charitable giving tool that provides several benefits. It’s a type of life income gift that provides income for the rest of the donors’ lives or for a specified term. This can be particularly useful for individuals who are looking to supplement their retirement income. Donors contributing assets to a CRT may be eligible for an immediate income tax deduction and can defer paying capital gains tax when the trust sells the assets. And assets placed in a CRT are generally eligible for an estate tax deduction, potentially reducing the estate tax liability upon their passing.
When Jimmy and Deborah started the CRT, they dedicated the charitable remainder for environmental conservation. Recently — more than 25 years after establishing the CRT — Jimmy and Deborah amended it to provide unrestricted funding to OCF, allowing the Foundation to choose where to best direct the resources.
“We decided to go ahead and let OCF choose where the funds go after we die,” Deborah says. “We think that you do a really good job with distributing the money and you know better than we do where the money is most needed and by whom.”
The Greears are big believers in generosity. Deborah credits her father, who lived by his values to treat people fairly and give back, with shaping her outlook. “My father worked very hard and he saved and he invested his money well. He always tithed. He always donated money,” Deborah says. “And that’s the way that I was brought up as a child — not just to keep everything for myself, but to be generous,” says Deborah. “He told all of his seven children about patients he treated for nothing. He said, ‘We are all the same color under our skin, so don’t ever be prejudiced.’”
Recalling her work with OCF, Deborah says, “It’s been a wonderful experience and we are happy to have done it. It's been an honor. We believe wholeheartedly in OCF and we’re glad to be a part of it.”