The January applicable federal rate (“AFR”) for use with estate planning techniques such as CRTs, CLTs, QPRTs and GRATs is 3.0%. The rate for use with a sale to a defective grantor trust, SCIN or intra-family loan, with a note of a 9-year duration (the mid-term rate, compounded annually), is 2.45%. These are decreases from December’s rates. Remember that lower rates work best with GRATs, CLATs, sales to defective grantor trusts, private annuities, SCINs and intra-family loans. The combination of a low AFR and a decline in the financial markets continues to present a potentially rewarding opportunity to fund GRATs in January with depressed assets you expect to perform better in the coming years.

Clients also should continue to consider “refinancing” existing intra-family loans. The AFRs (based on annual compounding) used in connection with intra-family loans are .57% for loans less than 3 years, 2.45% for loans less than 9 years, and 4.11% for long-term loans. Thus, if a $1 million loan is made to a child and the child can invest the funds and obtain a 5% return, the child will be able to keep any returns over the mid-term AFR of 2.45%. These same rates are used in connection with sales to defective grantor trusts.