Estate Planning & Probate Lawyer, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Fort Lauderdale Grantor-Retained Annuity Trust Lawyer

Tailored estate planning for South Florida high-net worth individuals

For many wealthy individuals, estate planning is about more than just managing assets — it's about safeguarding your life's work and ensuring the well-being of loved ones. To protect your legacy, strategic estate planning is essential. Among the powerful tools in the estate planning toolbox are Grantor-Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs). Under the right circumstances, GRATs can efficiently transfer assets to beneficiaries while retaining certain benefits during their lifetime. This approach has the potential to maximize wealth preservation and establish a secure foundation for future generations. Depending on circumstances, GRATS can:

  • Shield Assets from Tax Erosion
  • Secure Income While Transferring Wealth
  • Empower Future Generations

GRATs are powerful, yet highly complex tools utilized by The Levy Firm PLLC to help our clients achieve their legacy goals. If you're interested in learning more about our boutique customized estate planning and legal services, we invite you to reach out to us for a confidential free consultation.

What are GRATs?

Grantor-Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs) can be varied in terms and conditions, but in a Florida estate plan, they are often structured as irrevocable trusts that pay a set annuity over a fixed number of years. At the end of the terms, loved ones inherit the GRAT’s remaining assets.

While GRATs can provide significant tax benefits and flexibility, including asset swapping, there are disadvantages as well. For example, there are almost no tax benefits for beneficiaries if the grantor dies before the trust’s term expires. Consulting with family law and estate planning attorney Geoff Levy can provide clarity on how GRATs may be used to sustain your legacy.

Types of GRATs

Typically lasting two to three years, GRATs calculate annuity payment rates set by the IRS. Conditions and restrictions apply, but basically, the remaining assets at the end of a GRATs term transfer to designated beneficiaries tax-free. This is especially beneficial if the trust’s assets increase in value over its term.

In general, there are two types of GRATs in Florida:

  • Fixed-Term GRATs are the standard variety of Grantor-Annuity Trusts. At the end of the term, any remaining assets pass to the beneficiaries.
  • Rolling GRATs are short-term annuity trusts that may allow you to avoid estate taxes. In a rolling GRAT structure, each trust exists for about two years. When the trust expires, any remaining assets are carried over or “rolled” into a fresh GRAT – effectively bypassing some estate and gift taxes.

GRATs can be an important component of a comprehensive estate plan to optimize tax efficiency and asset protection. Determining the most beneficial type of GRAT for your estate plan will depend on factors like asset types, expected appreciation, and individual financial goals.

Florida estate planning done your way

The IRS has multiple requirements to establish a GRAT. An error or accidental omission could remove any benefits from the structure and inadvertently burden loved ones with hefty federal taxes.

The Levy Firm PLLC in Fort Lauderdale can help you avoid GRAT pitfalls. We know how to structure a trust network to effectively include GRATs. Our holistic approach to estate planning ensures all legal avenues are maximized to your benefit. To learn more about our boutique law firm’s customized estate planning services, contact us to schedule a confidential free consultation.

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Free Consultation. Contact Us Today.

If protecting your legacy and the financial security of your loved ones is a concern of yours, it’s a concern of ours. Let’s talk. Our law firm provides legal services in English and Spanish. Free consultations for new clients.

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