Gift of Real Estate

A gift of real estate to Mount Mercy Academy is a unique way to provide a lasting benefit to the young women of Mercy and the institution.  It is an effective way for you to enjoy a charitable deduction based on the current fair market value of your property and to reduce the size and complexity of your estate.

Benefits Of Giving Real Estate

Federal tax law has special incentives in place to encourage private philanthropy, including gifts of real estate. Giving real estate can result in significant benefits including:

  • Avoidance of capital gains taxes
  • Reduced income and estate taxes
  • Lifetime income for you or loved ones
  • Continued use of the contributed property during your life

Because a gift of real estate will usually be sold as soon as practicable after it is gifted to the school, the real estate must be free of debt and must be readily marketable.  An added benefit is that in most cases, all aspects of its sale are handled by Mount Mercy.

Options for Giving Real Estate:

Transfer Property Today or Later Through a Bequest

You may give full or partial interest in your property by simply executing and recording a deed naming Mount Mercy as the new owner.   Also, you can make a gift of real estate through a provision in your will or revocable trust agreement.   Once the property is received, proceeds of its sale are used for Mount Mercy’s general purposes or according to the purposes outlined in your bequest documents.

Retained Life Estate

Not only can real estate be used to make an outright gift to the school today, it can also be used to make future gifts to Mount Mercy.  For example, should you wish to give a remainder interest in a piece of real estate now but still desire to live in or continue to vacation in the property for the rest of your life, you may do so.  This is known as a retained life estate or remainder interest. A retained life estate allows you to make a gift of real estate without changing your current living situation.  You can donate your primary residence or vacation home and retain its use and responsibilities during your life.  Benefits of a retained life estate include your continued use of property as well as receiving an immediate tax deduction equal to the present value of the remainder interest in the property (with potential for other tax savings), and your estate avoids probate as your property will pass directly to Mount Mercy Academy.

Alternatively, if you have a need for current income, you may wish to use a piece of real estate that you no longer wish to use to fund a trust which will provide valuable financial support to you and your family for years to come.

Give Property to Establish a Charitable Remainder Trust

By establishing a charitable remainder trust, you can provide for a future gift to Mount Mercy while receiving a tax deduction and a long-term income stream.  When you give real property to establish a charitable remainder trust, the trustee, which could be Mount Mercy, can sell the property without paying capital gains tax.  The full proceeds from the sale can then be invested by the trustee and used to pay you and/or your beneficiaries an income for life or for a term of years.  After your lifetime or when the trust term ends, the remaining funds will pass to the school to be used for the purpose(s) you designate.


Gifts of real estate can be extremely satisfying, but they require careful planning.  Any gift of real estate must be reviewed and approved by Mount Mercy’s Board of Trustees, which require a donor to provide detailed and specific information about the property.  The Office of Institutional Advancement will work with you to facilitate this process.

Communicating Your Intentions

If you have provided for Mount Mercy Academy in your estate plans but have not previously notified the school of your intentions, please contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at 716-825-8796, ext 324 or institutionaladvancement@mtmercy.org.   Sharing your plans with us allows us to express our gratitude to you during your lifetime, ensures that your wishes will be met, and also assists the school’s long-term planning efforts.


Note: The information on Mount Mercy’s pages on planned giving vehicles is intended to provide general information that we hope will be helpful in your tax, estate, and charitable planning.   It is not intended as legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice.   For advice or assistance with your particular situation, you should consult an attorney or other professional adviser.

"Mercy is more than just a school. Mercy is my second home and a shoulder to lean on. Mount Mercy has given me the confidence and resources to pursue my passions and make the world a more inclusive place, propelling me to take strides into male-dominated fields. Mercy blessed me with an environment to grow intellectually and in the community, giving me the foundation to make a tangible impact while making lifelong friendships."

Adrianna Awald

Class of 2022

College Acceptances

Where our Mercy Girls go