Crummey Trust

By: Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, JD

An irrevocable trust that includes a limited power or right given to beneficiaries, named after the court case that sanctioned them, Crummey powers, to withdraw gifts made to the trust up to the amount of the annual exclusion ($13,000 in 2009). The purpose is for the gifts to the trust for the annual gift tax exclusion. Typically a beneficiary has the right to withdraw a gift during a specified window of time, say 30-days after the gift is made. The beneficiaries are to generally be given formal notice, called a Crummey notice or annual demand power. The beneficiaries typically sign the notices acknowledging that they were notified of the right. An option instead of this is a 2053(c) trust.

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