Christopher Burns Quoted in Forbes Magazine
May 15, 2020
What The Wealthy Are Doing With Their Estate Planning During The COVID-19 Crisis
Across the country, Americans are reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. But as volatility impacts all areas of our daily life, many wealthy Americans are looking at their estate planning to see if there are any unique opportunities.
While this may seem to be an odd time to focus on estate planning, when it comes to wealth transfer, timing is everything. That is why many wealthy individuals are considering the Grantor Retained Annuity Trust or a GRAT during the COVID-19 crisis. GRATs are a great technique for passing appreciation to the next generation with little to no gift or estate tax consequences.
GRATs have long been a useful tool for the wealthy and they are even more powerful in today’s environment. It is important to understand why the right time is now.
“Two reasons: First, asset values are depressed due to COVID-19,” says Christopher Burns. “Second, the IRS hurdle rate is at a historic low. If, after we are past the pandemic, rates of return come back at even average rates, a GRAT would result in the transfer of a great deal of wealth to its intended beneficiaries.”
For a wealthy individual or family considering this technique, it is important to understand the technical aspects of a GRAT as well as the potential risks.