Utilizing a zero-tax cash and trust strategy allows Virginia property owners to sell appreciated assets while minimizing tax burdens, maximizing financial benefits, and supporting charitable causes.

Restating the Issue: Selling Appreciated Property

Selling appreciated real estate in Virginia may lead to significant capital gains taxes. However, a zero-tax cash and trust strategy can help property owners avoid these taxes while achieving financial goals.

Zero-Tax Cash and Trust

The zero-tax cash and trust strategy involves transferring part of an appreciated property to a charitable remainder unitrust. This allows property owners to potentially avoid capital gains taxes, receive income from the trust, and gain a charitable deduction.

Charitable Trust

By transferring a portion of their property to a charitable remainder unitrust, property owners can bypass capital gains taxes. The trust then provides them with regular income payments, and they receive a charitable deduction based on the value of the donated property.

Cash Received

The remaining property can be sold for cash. The charitable deduction from the trust offsets the capital gains tax on this sale, effectively resulting in no net tax liability.


This strategy not only minimizes tax liability but also generates a steady income stream and supports charitable organizations. It's a flexible solution that can be customized to fit individual financial circumstances and philanthropic goals.Imagine you own a lot at the edge of town. Over the years, the value of your property has skyrocketed due to the surrounding development. When they inherited it 15 years ago, it was valued at $250,000. Today, it could sell for up to $700,000. But with a large gain of $450,000, the capital gains tax could take a significant bite out of your profits. In essence, you sell your property, receive part of the value in cash, enjoy tax-free benefits from the trust, and make a positive impact through your charitable contribution. It's a win-win!


Implementing a zero-tax cash and trust strategy allows Virginia property owners to manage capital gains taxes, enhance their income, and contribute to charitable causes. This approach provides a balanced way to meet both financial and philanthropic objectives.

If you would like to discuss your options in Virginia, please call one of our offices at 804-325-1245 (Richmond) or 757-941-4298 (Williamsburg) to discuss how our attorneys can be of assistance.
Special thanks to Wesley Singer for editorial assistance in drafting this article.
H. Van Smith
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