2015 Wealth Transfer Opportunities


by Barry Levin

In 2015, the inflation adjusted amount of the applicable exclusion for gift, estate and generation skipping tax purposes will increase from $5,340,000 to $5,430,000. The top gift and estate tax rate remains at 40% and the annual gift tax exclusion remains at $14,000. Increased tax exclusion amounts and persistent low interest rates offer some potentially valuable opportunities for wealth transfer between generations. Barry Levin, TBG’s Internal Counsel, says “there are four well-recognized planning strategies that generally work well and offer substantial benefits when created under low interest rate conditions”.

  • Intra-Family Loans
  • Installment Sales
  • Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATS)
  • Charitable Lead Annuity Trusts (CLATS)

Remember, interest rates influence how wealth transfers are valued for tax reporting purposes. As we begin the New Year, there are plenty of wealth and tax planning strategies to incorporate, but since interest rates are still low, thoughtful and informed consideration should be given to the above strategies.

The Beringer Group specializes in providing objective, contemporary solutions to a wide range of critical issues that challenge today’s entrepreneurs. The private business and family enterprise has been our core clientele since 1979.


Barry is the former Senior Vice President & Senior Counsel of The Mid-Atlantic Companies, Ltd. A former Partner in two major law firms in Philadelphia, PA, he has extensive experience with middle-market business owners and their families with a specialty in tax-advantaged owner exits. Barry is a graduate of Washington and Lee University; he holds a JD from the University of Virginia Law School.
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