A retained life estate offers friends and alumni/ae of Princeton Seminary the opportunity to give a personal residence or farm to our institution and retain the right to live in it for life or a term of years or both. This right may extend to a spouse or other beneficiary as well. In establishing such an arrangement, the donor's home or farm is deeded irrevocably to the Seminary.

The personal residence may be a vacation home, and need not be the donor's principal residence. In either event, it must be a home used exclusively by the donor. A farm is understood to be land used by a donor, or the donor's tenant, to produce crops or other agricultural products, or to sustain livestock.

While living in the residence under the terms of this agreement, the donor continues to be responsible for all maintenance, and routine expenses associated with it, including insurance and taxes. When the agreement ends, the Seminary is free to use the property or the proceeds from the sale of it.

Other benefits to the donor include:

  • avoidance of capital gain on the appreciation provided there is no mortgage on the property
  • an income tax charitable deduction in the year of the gift, with carryover privileges for up to five additional years
  • estate tax savings
  • an invitation to become a member of the Legacy Society


For more detailed information about Retained Life Estates or any other planned giving opportunity offered by the Seminary, please contact the Seminary’s Director of Planned Giving, Lisa Titus.