By using a qualified personal residence trust (QPRT), you might be able to sidestep potential estate tax pitfalls while transferring a home to family members. You can continue to live in the home for a term of years, after which ownership passes from the trust to the designated beneficiaries. Your gift of the home to the trust is taxable, but rather than being based on the home's value when it goes into the trust, that value is reduced by the amount of your "retained interest," which is calculated according to a complicated formula based on interest rates, the term of the trust, and other factors.
A. When your home goes into a QPRT, it comes out of your taxable estate. Although the transfer of the remainder interest—the home's value minus your retained interest—is subject to federal gift tax, the resulting tax from this future gift tends to be low, especially while interest rates remain depressed. The IRS relies on the Section 7520 rate, which is updated monthly, to calculate the tax.
A. That's normally the home used in a QPRT, but it can also be set up for a second home. In fact, you can have multiple personal residence trusts.