Grantor Retained UniTrusts
A grantor retained unitrust (GRUT) is another irrevocable trust where the grantor retains the right to receive funds annually from the trust based on a fixed percentage that is recalculated annually based on the new value of the trust. The grantor transfers property into the trust in exchange for a "variable annuity" type payout feature where the annual income stream will vary from year-to-year, depending on the value of the trust.
Characteristics of a GRUT:
- The grantor can make the initial gift and additional gifts to the trust.
- An excellent way to remove property from an estate utilizing the gift tax exclusion amounts.
- Provides a variable income stream to the grantor for a set number of years or for life.
- When the term of the GRUT ends, the remaining assets are transferred tax-free to the named beneficiaries.
- If the grantor does not out live the term of the trust, all of the property is brought back into the grantor's estate.
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