Trust and Estate Counsel

Tennessee Estate Planning Law

Insight and commentary on estate planning issues impacting affluent residents of Tennessee

Tax Relief Act of 2010 - Part 7 - Making Gifts to Tennessee QTIP Trusts

This is the seventh article of a series dealing with the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (“Act”). For the first six articles, see:

Part 1 – Charitable IRA Rollovers
Part 2 – Estate Tax/Carryover Basis Election for 2010 Decedents
Part 3 – Temporary $5 Million Estate Tax Exemption
Part 4 – Temporary $5 Million Gift Tax Exemption: Use it or Lose It
Part 5 – Gifting Without Making Yourself a Pauper
Part 6 – Making Gifts Without Paying Tennessee Gift Taxes

Part 5 discussed methods for maintaining access to cash flow from gifted assets. Part 6 discussed methods for avoiding Tennessee gift taxes. This article will discuss a method for combining the concepts discussed in Parts 5 and 6.

A Tennessee QTIP Trust allows you to make a completed taxable gift for federal gift tax purposes without paying Tennessee gift taxes. The reason you do not pay Tennessee gift taxes is because the trust qualifies for the Tennessee gift tax marital deduction. This is not a new technique. We have been using it for 12 years. There has always been a difference between the federal gift tax exemption and the Tennessee gift tax exemption. However, due to the higher federal gift tax exemption, we plan to establish more Tennessee QTIP Trusts in 2011 and 2012 than all prior years combined.

Another appealing feature of a Tennessee QTIP Trust is the spouse’s access to cash flow from the trust. A lot of our clients would make no gift at all or would make a much smaller gift if they could not obtain access to cash flow.

Tennessee QTIP Trusts do not provide cash flow for your children.  If one of your objectives is to increase cash flow for your children, you should consdier other techniques, perhaps in conjunction with a Tennessee QTIP Trust.

In summary, if you would like to take advantage of the temporary $5 million federal gift tax exemption but are unwilling to pay Tennessee gift taxes or need to maintain indirect access to cash flow, you should consider establishing a Tennessee QTIP Trust.