What Is a Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT)?

Qualified Personal Residence Trust

A Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT) is a specific type of irrevocable trust that allows its creator to remove a personal home from his or her estate for the purpose of reducing the amount of gift tax that is incurred when transferring assets to a beneficiary.

Qualified Personal Residence Trusts allow for the owner of the residence to remain living on the property for a period of time with "retained interest" in the house; once that period is over, the interest remaining is transferred to the beneficiaries as "remainder interest."

Depending on the length of the trust, the value of the property during the retained interest period is calculated based on Applicable Federal Rates that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provides. Because the owner retains a fraction of the value, the gift value of the property is lower than its fair market value, thus lowering its incurred gift tax. This tax can also be lowered with a unified credit.

How a Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT) Works

A qualified personal residence trust can be useful when the trust expires prior to the death of the grantor. If the grantor dies before the term, the property is included in the estate and is subject to tax. The risk lies in determining the length of the trust agreement, coupled with the likelihood that the grantor will pass away before the expiration date. Theoretically, longer-term trusts benefit from smaller remainder interest given to the beneficiaries, which in turn reduces the gift tax; however, this is only advantageous to younger trust holders who have a lower possibility of passing away prior to the trust end date.

  • A QPRT allows you to remove your home from the estate to reduce gift taxes.
  • Property value during the retained interest period is calculated based on IRS Applicable Federal Rates.
  • Other types of trusts include a bare trust and a charitable remainder trust.

QPRT and Other Trust Forms

Many different types of trusts exist in addition to a qualified personal residence trust. Two additional ones are a bare trust and a charitable remainder trust. In a bare trust, the beneficiary has the absolute right to the trust’s assets (both financial and non-financial, such as real estate and collectibles), as well as the income generated from these assets (such as rental income from properties or bond interest).

In a charitable remainder trust, a donor may provide an income interest to a non-charitable beneficiary with the remainder of the trust going to a charitable organization. The CRAT and CRUT are two types of charitable remainder trusts.

In both instances, the donor receives an income tax deduction from the present value of the remainder interest.

The Pros and Cons of Qualified Personal Residence Trusts

Benefits of Using a QPRT

  1. Removes the value of your primary or secondary residence, and all future appreciation, from your taxable estate at cents on the dollar. If a home is worth $500,000, depending on interest rates, a homeowner's age, and the retained income period chosen for the QPRT, the homeowner could use as little as $100,000 of his or her lifetime gift tax exemption, to remove a $500,000 asset from his or her taxable estate. This is particularly beneficial if the value of the house increases significantly, say, to $800,000, by the time the homeowner dies.
  2. Allows continued use of the residence and tax benefits. During the retained income period of the QPRT, the homeowner can continue living in the residence rent-free and may take all applicable income tax deductions.
  3. Hedges against possible decreases in lifetime gift tax exemption and estate tax exemption. If the value of your home is significant, then the current lifetime gift tax exemption of $5,340,000 will let you establish a QPRT without having to pay any gift taxes. And if in the future the estate tax exemption is reduced significantly, say down to $1,000,000, then you will have locked in the value of your residence for gift and estate tax purposes, and you consequently won't have to worry about how much the house will appreciate in value or what the estate tax exemption will be, at the time of your death.
  4. Creates a legacy for your family. If you want your home to remain in the family for generations to come, a QPRT will let you to pass on the residence to your heirs in a manner that will encourage them to hold on to it for the long haul.
  5. Paying rent at the end of the retained income period will help to further reduce your taxable estate. When the retained income period of the QPRT ends, you must pay fair market rent to your heirs, in order to continue using the residence. While this may initially seem like a downside to using QPRT's, it actually allows you to give more to your heir—without using annual exclusion gifts or more of your lifetime gift tax exemption.

Risks Associated With Using a QPRT

  1. Selling a home owned by a QPRT can be difficult. If circumstances change and you want to sell the residence owned by the QPRT, this could get thorny. You either must either invest the sale proceeds into a new home or take payments of the sale proceeds in the form of an annuity, if you don't wish to purchase a new home.
  2. Heirs will inherit the residence with your income tax basis at the time of the gift into the QPRT. An heir who sells the home after the retained income period ends will owe capital gains taxes based on the difference between your income tax basis at the time of the gift into the QPRT, and the price of the sale. This is why a QPRT is ideal for a residence the heirs plan to keep in the family, for many generations. But keep in mind: with the estate tax rate currently at 40% and the top capital gains rate currently at 20%, the capital gains impact may be significantly less than the estate tax impact.
  3. When the retained income period ends, you'll have to pay rent to use the residence. Once the retained income period ends, ownership of the residence passes to your heirs, removing your right to live in the residence rent-free. You must instead pay your heirs fair market rent if you wish to continue occupying the residence for an extended period of time. But, as mentioned above: this potential drawback can be turned into a benefit, by letting you give more to your heirs in a gift tax-free manner.
  4. When the retained income period ends, you may lose property tax benefits. Once the retained income period ends, there may be negative property tax consequences. For example, the home will be reassessed at its current fair market value for real estate tax purposes. Also, you would lose any property tax benefits associated with owning and occupying the property as your primary residence. In Florida, the home may lose its homestead status for both creditor protection and property tax purposes, unless one or more of the heirs make the home their primary residence.
  5. If you die before the retained income period ends, the QPRT transaction will be completely undone. If you die before the retained income period ends, the entire QPRT transaction will be undone and the value of the residence will be included in your taxable estate at its full fair market value on the date of your death.

At Nugent & Associates, we're not just number crunchers. We bring over 3 decades of invaluable certified public accounting and tax expertise to your company – serving as business and financial strategists who can offer such services as tax and financial planning, investment advice, diligent financial records, and help with estate planning.

Even better, we will give you time to focus on what you do best: running the day-to-day operations that drive your business toward success.

Take advantage of our FREE and no obligation business checkup.

We will visit you at your business at a time and day convenient for you, analyze your numbers, discuss your goals and concerns and report back with a complimentary detailed written analysis to help your business succeed!

At Nugent & Associates, we're not just number crunchers. Our people bring decades of invaluable certified public accounting and financial and tax expertise to you – offering tax and financial strategies to individuals such as yourself. If you have any questions or concerns about your own tax, financial or investment matters, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Experienced tax and financial experts are not just for the super rich. At a reasonable fee you too can maximize your wealth and receive professional guidance for retirement, and/or any tax issues you may be facing, no matter your situation, with a tax and financial expert as your consultant.

Contact Nugent & Associates today. We don't charge for phone calls. You may just find you found an ally in your quest to have a great financial future.

After all, at Nugent & Associates, we succeed when you succeed!



This page is intended to be informational. This website, nor any of the information contained on this site constitutes professional, business, tax or legal advice and is not a substitute for such advice nor does it create a professional-client relationship between you and Nugent & Associates.

State and federal laws change frequently, and the information in this page may not reflect your own state’s laws or the most recent changes to the law.

The information contained within this website should not be considered as a solicitation or an offer for a professional-client relationship. Materials contained in this website are of a general nature and should not be substituted for professional advice. Nugent & Associates is providing this website and the information contained herein only as a convenience to you. Nugent & Associates assumes no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions contained within this website. There is no guarantee that the information included on this site is current, accurate, complete, useful, or reliable.

Tax Planning & Preparation

We assist our clients in individual and business tax planning throughout the year.

Nugent & Associates provides:
  • Year-Round analysis to ensure a smooth and predictable year-end close.
  • Assist in establishing retirement planning.
  • Performs in-depth review of all deductions available.

Financial Statements

Nugent & Associates offers outstanding accounting services and acts as a quasi-controller for companies who do not employ their own full-time accountants.

This allows our clients with more time to focus on new services, new customers and other core business issues.

Business Planning, Budgeting
& Growth Strategies

Nugent & Associates assists it clients with:
  • Starting a new venture, product or service
  • Expanding a current organization, product or service
  • Buying a new business, product or service
  • Turning around a declining business

QuickBooks Training
& Support Services

As Certified QuickBooks Professional Advisors, we can be of assistance with QuickBooks accounting or payroll and help increase your productivity and efficiency.