Here's a brief glance at what you'll find in the March/April issue (see PDF file below for the full publication)...
A simple strategy: Pair an IDGT and an installment sale to pass on your business
For many people, a family business is a significant source of wealth, so passing it on to the next generation in a tax-efficient manner is an important estate planning goal. One of the simplest and most effective strategies available is an installment sale to an intentionally defective grantor trust (IDGT), thereby allowing the transfer of the business free of capital gains and gift taxes, and allowing any future appreciation in value to go to heirs estate-tax free. This article shows what to consider in setting up an IDGT, with a sidebar listing some specific pros and cons.
Do you have a succession plan for your vacation home?
Few estate planning issues are as emotionally charged as the disposition of the family home. And emotions may run even higher with vacation homes, which often evoke even more fond memories. So it's important to address one's vacation home in an estate plan. This article discusses considerations that should be addressed in transferring a home. Or, for those who are not yet ready to give up ownership, it explores other strategies, such as a qualified personal residence trust (QPRT) or qualified terminable interest property (QTIP) trust.
Helping a family member in need: Don't let your intrafamily loan run afoul of the IRS
When lending money to family members, the first question to ask is: "Is this transaction truly a loan?" If the IRS concludes that the transaction isn't a bona fide loan, it will recharacterize it as a taxable gift. By formalizing the transaction and treating it as a loan, it's possible to avoid negative tax consequences and have the necessary documentation to support a bad-debt deduction in the event the borrower defaults. This article examines the difference between a loan and a gift, appropriate interest rates, and how the type of loan affects income and gift taxes.
Estate Planning Red Flag: Crummey powers provide for withdrawal of a specific dollar amount
A lifetime gifting plan that takes advantage of the $13,000 per recipient annual gift tax exclusion can be a powerful strategy for transferring wealth tax free. But the exclusion is available only for gifts of present interests. This can be a problem for contributions to trusts, which are generally considered gifts of future interests. This article discusses Crummey powers, which give trust beneficiaries the right to withdraw contributions for a specified period after they're made, and which convert a future interest into a present interest that qualifies for the annual exclusion.