What is an Intentionally Defective Grantor Trust and how can it help my estate planning?

An Intentionally Defective Grantor Trust (“IDGT”) is a Trust that is treated as a Grantor Trust for income tax purposes but is a completed transfer for estate and gift tax purposes. This will allow the Grantor (you and/or your spouse) to remove appreciating assets (estate freeze) from your estate for estate tax purposes, while you will pay the income tax liability of the IDGT. The reason that your payment of the income tax liability of the IDGT is an important planning technique is that the payment of the income tax is a tax free gift to the beneficiaries of the IDGT (by not reducing the assets held in the IDGT by its income tax liability), while at the same time reducing your taxable estate.