The March § 7520 rate for use with estate planning techniques such as CRTs, CLTs, QPRTs and GRATs is 1.4%, which is a slight increase from February's rate of 1.2%. The applicable federal rate ("AFR") for use with a sale to a defective grantor trust, self-canceling installment note ("SCIN") or intra-family loan with a note of 9-year duration (the midterm rate, compounded annually) is 1.09%, which is up slightly from the January rate of 1.01% but still relatively low. 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 § 7520 rate and financial and real estate markets which remain undervalued presents a potentially rewarding opportunity to fund GRATs in February with depressed assets you expect to perform better in the relatively near future.

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 0.22% for loans with a term of 3 years or less, 1.09% for loans with a term of 9 years or less, and 2.66% for loans with a term of longer than 9 years. Thus, for example, if a 9-year loan is made to a child and the child can invest the funds and obtain a return in excess of 1.09%, the child will be able to keep any returns over 1.09%. These same rates are used in connection with sales to defective grantor trusts.