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Estate Planning for Closely Held Businesses: Transfers to Trusts, Private Placement Life Insurance, Risk Mitigation

Recording of a 110-minute CPE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CPE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford CPE+ Pass. Click for more information.
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Conducted on Thursday, September 17, 2020

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This course will discuss the strategies for and advantages of transferring closely held business interests during the current economic climate for advisers and tax practitioners working with these entities and owners.


Low-interest rates and asset values are a direct result of the current pandemic. The depressed economy can make this an ideal time to transfer a business interest. Establishing the transfer using a trust can avoid future conflicts and ensure a business is transferred according to the owner's wishes. Still, the questions owners and advisers must address concerning the transfer can be daunting.

Preserving the wealth created by an individual through his/her business creates income tax, estate tax and asset protection planning opportunities, whether the business owner desires to continue in the business or have the next generation succeed.

Often buy-sell agreements are structured using life insurance to transfer business interests to family members or others at a predetermined sales price. One of the most overlooked vehicles is private placement life insurance (PPLI). PPLI can allow investments to grow tax-free, provide loans to policyholders, and of course tax-free transfers at death. Understanding the many choices available for transferring ownership and the caveats of these transfers is critical for advisers of small businesses.

Listen as our panel of trust and estate experts discusses ownership transfers and risk mitigation in the current economy, including the differences in types of trusts, trust-owned life insurance, and supplemental insurance coverage available through captives.



  1. Economic condition
    1. Depressed asset values
    2. Low interest rates
    3. Estate and gift tax exemption of $11.58 million ($23.16 million for a married couple)
  2. Revocable or irrevocable trusts
    1. Dynasty trusts
    2. Irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT)
    3. Grantor retained annuity trust (GRAT)
    4. Spousal lifetime access trust (SLAT)
    5. Loans to intentionally defective grantor trusts
  3. Trust owned life insurance
    1. Permanent life insurance/cash value
    2. Private placement life insurance
  4. Supplemental insurance coverages through captive insurance


The panel will cover these and other critical issues:

  • How to structure loans to intentionally defective grantor trusts (IDGTs)
  • Using trusts for asset protection
  • Utilizing private placement life insurance to avoid estate and income tax
  • How the pandemic environment impacts transition planning


Anolik, Stuart
Stuart Anolik


Mr. Anolik has handled client matters involving international investment and finance, intellectual property migration,...  |  Read More

Kaufman, Gal
Gal N. Kaufman


Mr. Kaufman is highly experienced in the full range of private wealth services matters, including sophisticated tax...  |  Read More

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