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Personal Finance Considerations and Strategies

This column is updated every business day or thereabouts, so check back often for more Personal Finance Considerations and Strategies.

Minimizing Estate Taxes on Your Residence.

For many families, the residence is one of the largest assets that will eventually be in their estate.

If your estate is large enough to be taxable, how can you avoid taxes on part of the cost of your residence?

A qualified personal residence trust will help to minimize this tax burden.

The trust takes ownership of your residence when it is formed.

You are given a right to live there for a specified number of years.

At the end of this time, your residence becomes the property of the trust.

Depending on the structure, the trust may retain the residence or transfer it to your heirs at that point in time.

The transfer of the property into the trust is considered a taxable gift.

Because you retain a right of use for a period of time, the value of the gift is less than the true fair market value of the property.

Accordingly, you can accomplish transferring your residence to your heirs for a fraction of the fair market value.

Many factors need to be carefully planned to take advantage of this tax break.

Consult with your estate planner to determine if you might benefit from this type of trust.

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Do you have some Personal Finance advice to share or have a question?

You can Write to Us!.

Include your first initial and last name.

I'll try to use your contribution in a future column.

(Please note that these columns are written several weeks in advance so publishing it will be delayed accordingly.)

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