Why there’s nothing shabby about a Crummey trust
Abstract: You probably know about the annual gift tax exclusion. It allows you to give up to $13,000 per year (the limit in 2009) tax free, to an unlimited number of people — and without using up any of your $1 million lifetime gift tax exemption. If you elect to split gifts with your spouse, you can give away up to $26,000 per recipient. What you may not know is that the annual gift tax exclusion is available only for gifts of a present interest. Contributions to a trust ordinarily don’t count, because a beneficiary’s interest in a trust is considered a future interest. But what if you want to take advantage of the annual gift tax exclusion without simply handing over the cash to your children or grandchildren? This article offers one solution: a carefully designed Crummey trust.