facebook twitter instagram linkedin google youtube vimeo tumblr yelp rss email podcast phone blog search brokercheck brokercheck Play Pause
What Is an Intentionally Defective Grantor Trust? Thumbnail

What Is an Intentionally Defective Grantor Trust?

Through an intentionally defective grantor trust, you have a tool for estate planning that allows you to isolate your assets for all but income tax purposes.

When it comes to estate planning, it's important to consider alternative methods of planning to help you.


"Intentionally defective" might seem counterintuitive, but the name refers to the fact that the trust allows you to continue to pay income taxes on the assets in the trust, but the trust remains frozen to estate taxes. This is the deliberate "defect" involved.

As of this writing, the IDGT is being considered for discontinuation. For that reason, 2022 may be the last year to obtain one.

How does it work?

Say you have several shares of stock, and their value has increased considerably over the period of your ownership. These shares also pay out dividends each year.

Were you to sell the stock to an IDGT, you might receive, in return, a 15-year promissory note, valued at roughly equivalent to the as-yet-untaxed gains on the stocks but also bearing interest of 3%.

You would pay income taxes, but there are circumstances in which you might realize estate tax savings if your stocks' dividends and appreciation are higher than the interest borne by the promissory note.

For this reason, IDGTs are probably best used during periods with lower inflation.

Learn more

While IDGTs have benefits in certain economies, they can also potentially diminish your chances of incurring estate taxes upon death. You have the added benefits afforded to most trusts of avoiding direct taxation.

If you're interested in learning more about how an IDGT might work with your estate strategy, feel free to contact our team, California Retirement Advisors, at cradvisors.com or call at 888-643-7472 to request a meeting with one of our licensed advisors.

By Christian Cordoba
Founder, California Retirement Advisors

Investment advisory services offered through Mutual Advisors, LLC DBA California Retirement Advisors, a SEC registered investment adviser. Securities offered through Mutual Securities, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Mutual Securities, Inc. and Mutual Advisors, LLC are affiliated companies. CA Insurance license #0B09076. This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information and provided by California Retirement Advisors. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. California Retirement Advisors, nor any of its members, are tax accountants or legal attorneys and do not provide tax or legal advice. For tax or legal advice, you should consult your tax or legal professional.