Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (“GRATs”) are a powerful planning tool especially in an environment with low interest rates and suppressed asset values. But there is much more to how GRATs should be used in the current late 2020 environment. When might GRATs be an appropriate technique to use for a client? When might other techniques be preferable? Since much of late 2020 planning is premised on the assumption of a Democratic sweep leading to the enactment of tax legislation along the lines of the provisions contained in President Obama’s Greenbook and the Sanders tax proposal (and who really knows) how might those types of changes influence how you structure GRATs now? Are short term GRATs still the optimal application of the technique? How might GRAT immunization change? How and why GRATs should be as granular as feasible? Might a very long term 99 year GRAT make sense? When and why?
Teresa L. Bush, Esq., Director of Education and Support Services, InterActive Legal ^
Teresa Bush joined InterActive Legal in 2007 and serves as Director of Education and Support Services. Ms. Bush has been licensed to practice law since 1991, and focused her practice exclusively on issues of estate and gift tax planning, probate, charitable planning, and estate and trust administration. She began her practice in a small law firm, planning for clients of all levels of wealth. Thereafter, she practiced for a number of years in the Tax Section of Kelly, Hart and Hallman, P.C. in Fort Worth, Texas, and as an estate and gift tax consultant for the Dallas office of Ernst & Young, in both cases focusing on planning for very high net worth clients. Ms. Bush received her J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law, where she was a research assistant for Professor Stanley M. Johanson. She studied at Edinburgh University and the London School of Economics prior to obtaining a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Rice University in Houston. While studying abroad, she worked as an intern for a Member of Parliament in the British House of Commons. Ms. Bush taught legal research and writing as a Teaching Quizmaster in law school, and later taught estate planning extension courses for American College of Financial Services CLU candidates. She has presented several online webinars on estate planning and drafting topics, and is the author or co-author of a variety of estate planning articles.
Jonathan G. Blattmachr, Esq., InterActive Legal Founder ^
Jonathan G. Blattmachr has over 35 years of experience in trusts and estates law and is currently a Principal at Pioneer Wealth Partners, LLC. He is a retired member of Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy and the Alaska, California and New York Bars. Mr. Blattmachr writes and lectures extensively on estate and trust taxation and charitable giving and has authored or co-authored eight books and over 500 articles on estate planning topics. He also co-developed Wealth Transfer Planning™, an InterActive Legal software system published for lawyers that provides specific client advice and automated document assembly for wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and other estate planning documents.
Martin M. Shenkman, Esq., InterActive Legal Advisor ^
Martin M. Shenkman is an attorney in private practice in Fort Lee, NJ, and New York City. His practice concentrates on estate and tax planning, planning for closely held business, and estate administration. Mr. Shenkman is an author of over 40 books and more than 800 articles. He is an editorial board member of Trusts & Estates Magazine and the Matrimonial Strategist, and an advisor for InterActive Legal. He is the recipient of many awards including being a 2013 recipient of the prestigious Accredited Estate Planners (Distinguished) award from the National Association of Estate Planning Counsels. Mr. Shenkman was named Financial Planning Magazine 2012 Pro-Bono Financial Planner of the Year for his efforts on behalf of those living with chronic illness and disability. Investment Adviser Magazine featured him on the cover of its April 2013 issue naming as the lead of their “all-star lineup of tax experts.”
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