By: Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, JD
A remainder interest is the interests, rights, assets, etc. left at the end of a preceding interest (sorry, bear with us!). An example can illustrate. Your father establishes a grantor retained annuity trust ("GRAT") to shift the value of significant family wealth to you at a substantial discount. During the term of the GRAT (called annuity term) your father would have to receive a periodic annuity. After that term and his annuity end, you receive what is left in the GRAT (i.e., the trust). This is referred to as a remainder interest. In some instances you may be able to sell your remainder interest. This could be done for tax, asset protection, divorce protection or other reasons. You would sell your future (remainder) rights before actually receiving them. You might, for example, be able to sell your remainder interest in this GRAT to another trust for an amount equal to the actuarial value of your interest.
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