Discretionary Trust Interest Has A Gift Tax Value, But What Is It?

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In a recent Private Letter Ruling, a current trust beneficiary was entitled to income only in the discretion of the trustee, and was entitled to principal in the discretion of the trustee as needed for the beneficiary’s health, support or maintenance. The trust beneficiaries and trustee are seeking State court approval for an early distribution of a portion of principal to the remaindermen, since it appears they would not otherwise be entitled to any distributions until the death of the current trust beneficiary.

The current trust beneficiary has advised the IRS that her income and resources are sufficient to maintain her current standard of living for her lifetime and any forseeable emergencies, that she has received no trust distributions, and based on her financial condition she will not qualify for distributions from the trust. The trustee has represented that distributions would be made to the current trust beneficiary only in case of emergency.

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