A charitable lead trust works just like a charitable remainder trust in reverse. In other words, assets from the trust are distributed to at least one charitable beneficiary for a specified period of time first. At the end of that time period, the assets remaining in the trust are distributed to at least one non-charitable beneficiary. Assuming you made a gift of $2 million to a charitable lead trust, the trust terms might direct yearly distributions in the amount of $50,000 to be made to your chosen charity for ten years. Furthermore, at the end of that 10 year period the assets remaining in the trust are to be distributed to your four adult children.