What is a qualified personal residence trust (QPRT)?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

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A qualified personal residence trust, or QPRT, is a form of grantor retained income trust. The purpose of this type of trust is to place assets into an irrevocable trust and only grant the income from the trust to the trustor. The actual asset in the trust will eventually pass to a listed beneficiary such as a child or grandchild. The advantage to a QPRT is that it freezes the value of the asset in the trust allowing it to pass with fewer tax consequences for the beneficiary.

Rules for establishing a QPRT

A qualified personal residence trust can only have one residence placed into the trust. The property is not purchased outright. Rather, six months of mortgage payments are deposited into the trust for the trustee to pay for the property. If there is any extra cash at the end of the six months, it must be returned to the trustor.

If the property for some reason becomes undesirable, it can be sold. Once sold, the proceeds are held in the trust and a new residence must be purchased within two years of the sale. Finally, the house must be used by the trustor as his primary residence for the specified amount of years. If it is not, then it cannot qualify for the QPRT shelter. If the trustor dies before the time runs out, then the entire property is added to their estate.

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How a QPRT Affects Gift Taxes

The benefit of a qualified personal residence trust is that it eliminates a large chunk of the total gift taxes for the recipient of the property. The calculation for determining the final gift tax amount after the given period is as follows:

Remainder Value= Rt x (Y/X) x FMV of Home

Rt stands for the remainder factor taken from IRS table B for the number of years the trust is supposed to last. “t” is the IRS section 7520 rate at the time the trust is funded. The “X” is the number of people alive for the starting age for the trust. The “Y” is the number alive for the end of the trust period. Both “X” and “Y” can be found on IRS chart table 90CM.

So for instance, if the section 7520 rate is 8.2% and the trustor is 70 at the start of a 15-year QPRT. The home placed into the trust is worth $125,000. Rt is .5273; X for age 70 is 61,253; and Y for age 85 is 30,225.

The equation would look like:

.5273 x (30,225/61,253) x $125,000 = $32,524

So, the total remainder is $32,524. This is the taxable amount for gift tax purposes.

After the QPRT Term Expires

After the trust’s term has expired, nothing actually must change. While the beneficiary does own the property, they can allow the previous trustor to “rent” the property from them. However, the IRS does require that the rental price be the fair market rental value and the agreement must be official.

If a QPRT trust sounds like a useful estate planning tool to add to your estate planning portfolio, contact an estate planning attorney for a consultation.

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