One of the best planning techniques for those with estates of 1 million dollars or more, and especially those with appreciating assets, Short term GRATs, might be a thing of the past soon. House Bill 4849 just passed the US house of representatives on March 24th and would make the minimum term for Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts a minimum of ten years. However, short term GRATs are one of the most powerful and effective estate planning techniques currently available for American Families.
So, if this bill, or a similar bill passes the Senate, a very powerful technique for moving assets from one generation to another without estate or gift taxes will be lost to the American tax payer and to all Pennsylvania residents doing federal estate tax planning.
If you’re interested in GRATs, just search our site for the many articles and information that we have published on this topic. But, as a brief review, GRATs allow you to move a higly appreciating asset out of your estate without paying gift taxes. However, if you die during the GRAT term (which currently can be as little as two years) the assets come back into your estate and get taxed at their current value.
Congress believes that this technique is so effective for tax payers, that if they eliminate short term GRATs, that it could result in significant revenue generation through higher estate taxes.
According to a group called Citizens for Tax Justice, this provision of the bill would raise an estimated $4.5 billion in 10 years…” This group is a lobbying organization that describes its mission as “requiring the wealthy to pay their fair share.”
So, be aware that 2010 may be the last year for the short term GRAT.
If you need assistance in setting up a GRAT, or want to know more about the many advantages of a short term GRAT before they are eliminated by Congress, please feel free to visit this site or to call David M. Frees III at 610-933-8069 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a free book on GRAT techniques, from Bernstein’s research group, click here.
For a free telephone consultation or appointment for estate planning including GRATs call Donna, Denise or Beth to set up the appointment and mention offer code: GRAT