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Wealth transfer strategies families are deploying during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rising federal transfer tax exemptions, declining asset valuations and historic low intra family lending rates have created a unique wealth transfer opportunity for entrepreneurs and family offices. Wealthy families can implement strategies that preserve, protect and pass their wealth, while maintaining significant access, control and flexibility.
Rising federal estate tax exemptions
- Amounts individuals can shelter from estate taxes are at all-time highs, scheduled to be reduced by 50% on 1/1/26 (or 1/1/22 if legislative proposals are enacted)
- Exemption may be used during lifetime to create “Access Trusts” with each generation of a family retaining significant access, control and flexibility
- Properly structured Access Trusts protect the asset base, and all future appreciation from estate tax for multiple generations
- Access Trusts can also be structured to protect assets from creditors, predators and lawsuits (including divorcing spouses)
Declining asset valuations
- Recent market turbulence has significantly depressed asset values
- Gifting at low values significantly leverages federal exemption amounts
- Marketability and minority discounts available when gifting closely held business interests can even further reduce valuations
- Sales of assets to Access Trusts can further leverage the federal exemption amounts
Historic low intra family lending rates
- Intra family lending rates at a historic low (0.91% as of 10/21)
- Allows senior generation to sell assets at low valuations to Access Trusts and finance the purchases with sub 1% intra family loans
- No capital gain recognized on sales of assets to Access Trusts
- Loans can be structured as interest only with balloon payments to meet cash flow needs of family member
This trifecta of circumstances creates a once in a lifetime opportunity for wealthy families to significantly leverage the effectiveness of multi-generational wealth preservation strategies. However, there is significant pressure in Congress to eliminate these and other wealth planning techniques. If enacted, families will have a very small window during the remainder of 2021 to act. To learn more about how SVB Private can help you and your family please reach out to your >SVB Private relationship manager.