Use A Dynasty Trust to Protect Your Wealth – Annapolis and Towson Estate Planning

Using an irrevocable trust ensures a far smoother transition of assets than a will and also offers significant tax savings and far more privacy, control and asset protection, begins the article “Dynasty Trusts: Best Way to Protect Family Wealth” from NewsMax.

Just as their name implies, a dynasty trust is king of all trust types. It gives the family the most benefits in all of these areas. Still not convinced? Here are a few reasons why the dynasty trust is the best estate planning strategy for families who want to preserve an estate across many generations.

Most trusts provide for the transfer of assets from one benefactor to the next generation, at most two or three generations. A dynasty trust can last for hundreds of years. This offers tax advantages that are far superior than others.

Under the new tax laws, an individual can gift or bequeath up to $11.4 million during their lifetime, tax free. After that limit, any further transfer of assets are subject to gift and estate taxes. That same transfer limit applies whether assets are left directly via a will or indirectly through a trust. However, in a direct transfer or trust, these assets may be subject to estate taxes multiple times.

If a grantor transfers assets into a dynasty trust, those assets become the property of the trust, not of the grantor or the grantor’s heirs. Because the trust is designed to last many generations, the estate tax is only assessed once, even if the trust grows to be worth many times more than the lifetime exclusion.

Not all states permit the use of dynasty trusts. However, five states do allow them, while six others allow trusts with lifespans of 360 years or more. An experienced estate planning attorney will know if your state permits dynasty trusts and will help you set one up in a state that does allow them if yours does not. Nevada, Ohio and South Dakota provide especially strong asset protection for dynasty trusts.

Because dynasty trusts are passed down from generation to generation, trust assets are not subject to the generation-skipping transfer tax. This tax is notorious for complicating bequeathals to grandchildren and others who are not immediate heirs.

When the dynasty trust is created, the grantor designates a trustee who will manage trust funds. Usually the trustee is a banker or wealth manager, not a trust beneficiary. The grantor can exert as much control as desired over the future of the trust by giving specific instructions for distributions. The trustee may only give distributions for major life events, or each heir may have a lifetime limit on distributions.

With these kinds of safeguards in place, a benefactor can ensure that the family’s wealth extends to many generations. Speak with an estate planning attorney to learn about the laws concerning dynasty trusts in your state and see if your family can obtain the benefits it offers.

Reference: NewsMax (September 16, 2019) “Dynasty Trusts: Best Way to Protect Family Wealth”

Sims & Campbell, LLC – Annapolis and Towson Estate Planning Attorneys

Why Should I Think About a Dynasty Trust? – Annapolis and Towson Estate Planning

A dynasty trust is a trust that lasts longer than one generation below that of the grantor. This trust can be a worthwhile estate planning tool for multi-generational families. Forbes’ recent article, “2 Reasons To Consider A Dynasty Trust” explains that dynasty trusts have two unique benefits that make them attractive.

Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax (GST) Exemption. According to the American Bar Association, the GST tax is imposed on asset transfers to grandchildren and more remote descendants that exceed the exemption limits. As a result, the transferor can’t avoid transfer taxes by “skipping” a generation. The GST is imposed, in addition to gift and estate taxes.

A person can give up to $11.4 million in assets (the GST tax-exempt amount) to a trust in 2019. Trust assets are protected from transfer taxation for as long as the trust document and state law permit it. A dynasty trust uses the federal GST tax exemption by taking family wealth out of the transfer tax system for as long as the trust is in existence; income and principal is used to benefit each succeeding generation.

An additional benefit is that the GST tax exemption can often be extended, by transferring assets subject to valuation discounts.

Grantor Trusts Provide More Tax Benefits. In most cases, grantor trusts treat the trust creator as the owner of the trust assets for income tax purposes. This allows the trust principal to grow free of income tax. Creating the trust as a grantor trust adds another level of tax benefit to a dynasty trust.

The estate planning benefits of the asset transfer are increased by the grantor making the income tax payments instead of the trust. In other words, the assets in the trust aren’t reduced by income taxes. Any income taxes paid by the grantor reduce the size of the grantor’s overall taxable estate when calculating estate taxes.

There are a number of strategies a person can implement using dynasty trusts. You can discuss all your choices with an experienced estate planning attorney.

Reference: Forbes (July 23, 2019) “2 Reasons To Consider A Dynasty Trust”

Sims & Campbell, LLC – Annapolis and Towson Estate Planning Attorneys