Minimizing Estate Taxes GRATs and GRUTs


If your estate is large enough to owe estate taxes when you die, you need an estate planning law firm that can help minimize those taxes. A firm like Doane and Doane. You may want to consider a grantor retained annuity trust known as a “Grat” or a grantor retained unitrust or “Grut” for short.

A grat or grut lets you transfer any income producing asset, like a family business, stocks, or real estate, into an irrevocable trust for a set number of years. During this time, the trust pays you an income. If the income you receive is a set dollar amount, with no fluctuation, the trust is a grat. If the income is a percentage of the trust assets and changes each year, it’s considered a grut. At the end of the trust term, the beneficiaries, usually your children, will own the assets and they will not be included in your estate when you die. But if you die before the trust ends, some or all of the assets may become part of your taxable estate. The beneficiaries won’t receive the asset until the trust term is over, so the value of the gift, is reduced. That means less of your federal gift and estate tax exemption will be used.

Bottom line, a grat or grut can be a great way to minimize estate taxes and give you income now.