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Personal Residence Trust


Definition of "Personal-residence trust"

Trust in which a home is transferred directly to the children while the parent (s) remain in the home for a fixed period of time, resulting in a substantially reduced estate tax cost. These trusts have a great flexibility in that the home in trust may be sold during the term of the trust, provided the proceeds from the sale is reinvested in another home within two years of the sale of the home. The primary drawbacks of this trust are that if the parent (s) die before the term of the trust expires, the home is included in the estate of the parent (s), and if the parent (s) outlive the term of the trust and has a desire to remain in the home, the parent (s) must rent that home from the children at its fair market value.
During the term of the trust, the parent (s) has the right to the income from the trust's property as well as the use of that property. As such, income and expenses associated with that property are reported on the income tax return of the parent (s). If the parent (s) is still alive at the time the term of the trust expires, the interest in the home that is transferred to the children is valued as a remainder interest. The tax advantage results from this remainder interest as the remainder interest in the home is valued at a substantially lower value for federal tax purposes than the full market value of the home.



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