Conrad Teitell’s Philanthropy Tax E-Letter highlights some interesting and important points about charitable lead trusts. The trusts are used as a vehicle by high net worth individuals to provide benefits to charities of their choice while still passing the property to their heirs with little or no gift tax. Problems may arise if the donor’s involvement with the trust causes the value of the trust corpus to be included in his or her gross estate. If nothing else, this article underscores that complex trusts are a "do not try this at home" proposition. Their successful drafting, implementation and operation requires that you utilize the services of competent legal and accounting specialists to avoid serious pitfalls.