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Family Business & Philanthropic Planning:

Passing the family business with a Charitable Remainder Trust

By: Dana L. Mark

A question for our readers: A charitable remainder trust can (a) benefit family members, (b) benefit charity, (c) help di- versify assets in a tax efficient manner, or (d) all of the above? The answer is (d).
A charitable remainder trust (“CRT”) can provide you, your spouse, or other beneficiaries with lifetime income (annually either a fixed amount or a percentage of the trust’s value (which will increase or decrease as the value of the trust changes)). When your interest in the trust ends, the balance remaining passes to charity. At the time you set up the CRT, you receive a charitable income tax deduction for the value of the charity’s interest.
Significantly, a CRT is a tax exempt entity.


By: Roy P. Kozupsky, Esq. & Amelia (“Amy”) Renkert-Thomas

Estate planning for family business owners is big business for many wealth advisors. Fueling this area of work is a combination of factors including the historically large (and at least for now increasing) federal estate tax exemptions. Congressional leaders, in their redundant debate, perennially raise the possibility of changing the estate tax regime. Both sides seem politically persuasive. The left argues that tax revenues are needed and warns that large amounts of wealth being transferred to future generations will create a dynastic social atmosphere that will weaken the entrepreneurial fabric of America’s culture. The right is less strident, but the Red States’ populist electorate and the ongoing need for tax revenues suggest that the estate tax will not be repealed any day soon. This tumultuous political debate about rates and exemptions is wonderful fuel for those ever-present human emotions of opportunity and fear, which seem to be the active ingredients in motivating families to consider trans- ferring their wealth, including the family business, to their descendants.

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