What is a 'Grantor Retained Annuity Trust - GRAT'

A Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT) is an estate planning technique that minimizes the tax liability existing when intergenerational transfers of estate assets occur. Under these plans, an irrevocable trust is created for a certain term or period of time. The individual establishing the trust pays a tax when the trust is established. Assets are placed under the trust and then an annuity is paid out every year. When the trust expires the beneficiary receives the assets tax free.

BREAKING DOWN 'Grantor Retained Annuity Trust - GRAT'

Under these plans, the annuity payments come from interest earned on the assets underlying the trust or as a percentage of the total value of the assets. If the individual who establishes the trust dies before the trust expires the assets become part of the taxable estate of the individual, and the beneficiary receives nothing.

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