This week, the Senate considered the House’s version of the Small Business Jobs Tax Relief Act of 2010. Going into the hearings, there was considerable speculation that the Senate was going to pass its bill with the GRAT restrictions in place, meaning the minimum term for GRATs would be 10 years, and the remainder interests of any GRATs would have to have a value greater than zero.

The speculation was incorrect. The Senate’s version of the House Bill currently does not contain the GRAT restrictions, so for now, short term GRATs remain a viable technique. The House bill and the Senate version of the bill will ultimately have to reconciled. It is unclear whether the GRAT restrictions will be included. Thus, if you are planning to implement a short term GRAT, it is advisable to do it as soon as possible due to the uncertainty of the legislation.

We will continue to advise you on GRAT legislation as it happens.