Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Home

Real Estate

If you have a vacation home you no longer use, you can donate it to WHOI.

Real estate often represents a significant portion of a person’s wealth, but is not as easily liquidated as stocks and bonds. WHOI has experience receiving and selling real estate and can take the burden of managing that process off of your hands. WHOI has certain standards for the properties that we will accept—primarily to avoid environmental litigation—so please contact us if this strategy is of interest to you.

Another option with real estate is to transfer ownership, but continue to occupy the property until you are finished with it.  The current interest-rate environment offers historically large charitable deductions for these kinds of gifts. Using this approach, known as retained life estate, you will receive a substantial tax deduction that may be carried forward for as many as five years, if necessary. In addition, your heirs will not have to worry about selling your home. You will still be responsible for the upkeep and taxes on your home.

For example:
A 72-year-old has a home she originally purchased for $200,000 that is now valued at $500,000.

Assuming the structure (not the land on which it sits) is worth $150,000, she can deduct $352,667 if she assigns the property to WHOI as a gift, and the deduction will increase as she ages.

She can take a charitable deduction of up to 30% of her adjusted gross income, and can use it for up to five additional years if she can’t take the whole deduction in the first year.


For more information about planned giving and the Paul M. Fye Society, please contact Jim Flynn, Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving at (508) 289-2018, or at jflynn@whoi.edu.