Retained Life Estate

Through a retained life estate, you can give your personal residence to The Sierra Fund right now, while retaining the right to live there for the rest of your life (called a life interest).

You may also provide for another individual to live there for the rest of his or her life or a set number of years.

Once the term of years is over, or after your lifetimes(s), The Sierra Fund sells the property and uses the proceeds to preserve significant natural areas in the Sierra Nevada.

What Qualifies as a Personal Residence?

Personal residences include: your primary home, farm, ranch, vacation home or second home.


  • Make a significant gift to The Sierra Fund while still living in your residence.
  • Immediate Tax Savings
    Take an income tax charitable deduction for the amount of the property’s current appraised value with an adjustment for your estimated life interest. For gifts of appreciated property, you can deduct up to 30% of your adjusted gross income.
  • Future Tax Savings
    Remove the property from your gross taxable estate.
  • Leave A Legacy
    Help to preserve natural places so generations to come may enjoy them as well.

How It Works

Maria donates her home and the land surrounding it with the right to live there for the rest of her life. She also reserved the right for her daughter to live in the house for her lifetime. The Sierra Fund will receive the gift after her daughter’s life. Maria received an income tax charitable deduction for the current appraised value adjusted for the estimated life interest and once The Sierra Fund receives the house and land, we will sell it to fund conservation projects. Maria and/or her daughter are responsible for the costs of upkeep such as insurance, taxes and necessary repairs while they live at the house.

Making Your Gift

For more information on Retained Life Estates, please make an online request, e-mail or call (530) 265-8454.