Considering how to pass your wealth on to the next generation? Then the generation skipping tax is something with which you should be familiar. The generation skipping transfer tax is a tax assessed on property as it is passed on to a generation that is two or more levels below the generation actually transferring the property. Simply put, if you transfer your property to a grandchild, instead of your daughter or son, the transfer would be subject to the generation skipping tax. The same is true if you transfer your estate to someone who is unrelated, and who is 37 ½ years or more younger than you. This type of transfer would also be subject to the generation skipping transfer tax.
Government tax schemes do not take into consideration those of us who want to include our grandchildren in our estate planning. Instead, the government apparently believes a family’s wealth should only be allowed to trickle down from one generation to the next. However, some grandparents may choose to assist their grandchildren in paying for their education or getting on their feet with their new families. The purpose of the generation skipping tax was to close the obvious loophole in the estate tax, and ensure that taxes will be paid at each level.
Are there some exemptions that may apply?
In 2009, the federal government created an exemption for property transfers up to $3.5 million from the generation skipping transfer tax. The tax was actually repealed in 2010, but reinstated in 2011, with a $5 million exemption. Since then, the exemption has been increased from $5 million to the current exemption of $5.34 million, as of 2014.
Can I plan for this tax?
Yes. There are specific estate planning tools designed to eliminate estate taxes at each generational level. A Generation Skipping Trust, also known as “dynasty trusts,” is a kind of irrevocable trust created to deal with this tax, especially.
A General Skipping Trust is intended to avoid, or at least minimize, estate taxes on transfer to subsequent generations. This trust accomplishes this by holding the assets in the trust and distributing the funds in a pre-defined way to each generation. This way, the entire amount of the trust will be protected from estate taxes with each passing generation. Because these trusts also provide protection from creditors and predators, Generation Skipping Trusts are not just for wealthy families.
Another option is gifting assets to your grandchildren. This can potentially reduce the size of your estate, as well as the tax that must be paid upon your death. A grandparent can give his or her grandchildren up to $14,000 per recipient per year without having to report the gift. This money can also be placed in a properly established and maintained gift trust. Although you can make an outright gift, pay health care or education expenses directly, or put the money in a custodial account, putting the money into a trust has some major advantages that you should discuss with your estate planning attorney.
Getting Legal Help with Generation Skipping Tax in Reno
Generation skipping trusts are complex legal documents that should be drafted by a competent, experienced Reno estate planning attorney. They are most knowledgeable about deciding whether a generation skipping trust in Reno would benefit you.