the Estate PLANNER
Here’s a brief glance at what you’ll find in the November/December issue…
Is now a good time for a QPRT?
A qualified personal residence trust (QPRT) allows the transfer of a home to children or other family members at a deeply discounted value for gift tax purposes, while allowing the donor the right to live in the home for a set number of years. QPRTs, unlike many estate planning techniques, are generally most effective when interest rates are high. Although interest rates have been low in recent months, the timing may still be right for a QPRT because real estate values are depressed. But it depends on the current value of a home and the current IRS Sec. 7520 rate, as well as the donor’s life expectancy.
Transferring the family business: Using a CLAT can benefit charity and your family
A family business owner with philanthropic aspirations may have a lot of wealth tied up in the business, making it difficult to give to charity without tapping those assets. At the same time, it can be hard for a donor to retain control of the business during life and to keep the business in the family after death while minimizing estate taxes. One solution worth considering is a charitable lead annuity trust (CLAT). By using a testamentary CLAT (T-CLAT) to hold business interests and then sell those interests to the family, donors can achieve both their business succession and philanthropic goals. A sidebar offers an example of a CLAT in action.
Trust your trustee: Choosing a trustee who will carry out your final wishes
Avoiding probate is a common estate planning objective. One option to help achieve this goal is to establish a living trust, also commonly referred to as a “revocable” or “inter vivos” trust.
A living trust allows the transfer of assets to the trust and provides instructions for the distribution of assets after the donor’s death. But it’s necessary to select a trustee to oversee and administer the trust at that time. There are specific duties a trustee must perform, and two types of trustees to consider.
Estate Planning Red Flag: A minor is a beneficiary of your life insurance policy
Most estate plans include one or more life insurance policies as a source of liquid funds and additional wealth. A common, but costly, mistake people make is to name a minor child or grandchild — or a legally incompetent adult — as beneficiary. Doing so can lead to several problems, as this short article describes.