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Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT)


A Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT) is an estate planning tool that allows homeowners to transfer their primary or secondary residence into an irrevocable trust for a set period. The homeowner retains the rights to live in the property during the term, after which the ownership transfers to the trust beneficiaries, typically the homeowner’s children. This arrangement helps reduce estate taxes and gift taxes associated with passing down property to heirs.


The phonetic pronunciation of ‘Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT)’ is: kwəˈlʌɪˌfaɪd ˈpɜːr.sə.nəl ˈrɛz.ɪ.dəns trʌst (kjuː piː ɑːr tiː)

Key Takeaways

  1. A Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT) is an estate planning tool that allows homeowners to transfer ownership of their primary or secondary residence to a trust, potentially reducing the value of their taxable estate.
  2. During the term of the QPRT, the homeowner retains the right to live in the property without paying rent. At the end of the term, the property ownership can be transferred to beneficiaries or kept in the trust, potentially avoiding or reducing gift and estate taxes.
  3. A QPRT is an irrevocable trust, meaning that once it has been set up, the homeowner cannot change the terms or dissolve the trust without court approval. Therefore, it is essential to carefully consider the long-term implications of a QPRT before establishing one.


The Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT) is an essential estate planning tool for individuals seeking to transfer their primary or secondary residence to their beneficiaries while minimizing gift and estate tax implications. By establishing a QPRT, the property owner retains full use of the residence for a specified term while the home’s value, including any appreciation, is removed from their taxable estate. Once the term ends, the property is transferred to the designated beneficiaries at a reduced gift tax value, thereby preserving the owner’s lifetime gift tax exemption and decreasing potential estate tax liability. Consequently, QPRTs are critical for individuals looking to protect their assets and maximize the wealth transfer to their heirs.


A Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT) is an estate planning tool designed to help property owners minimize their tax liabilities and transfer residential property to beneficiaries at a reduced cost. It is particularly beneficial for individuals with significant estates who are looking to pass on their assets to their heirs while minimizing federal gift and estate taxes. The purpose of QPRT is to enable the individual to remove their property from their taxable estate and continue living in the property for a specified period, while transferring ownership to beneficiaries without triggering excessive tax penalties.

This valuable financial tool works by allowing the property owner to transfer their residence into the trust for a predetermined term. During this period, the property owner, often known as the grantor, maintains the right to occupy and utilize the property. Once the term of the trust expires, the property is transferred to the beneficiaries, such as family members. The key benefit of using a QPRT is that the property’s value at the time of the trust creation is used for tax purposes, as opposed to its market value at the future date of transfer. This allows capitalizing on the property’s assumed appreciation and reduces the gift tax exposure, thereby maximizing the wealth transfer to the next generation. Overall, the Qualified Personal Residence Trust serves as a strategic instrument for estate planning, by ensuring a more tax-efficient transfer of property while preserving wealth for successors.


Example 1: Mr. and Mrs. Smith own a beautiful beach house worth $2 million, which has significantly appreciated in value since they bought it years ago. To minimize the potential estate taxes upon their passing, they decide to set up a Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT) for the beach house. They transfer the title of the beach house into the QPRT, while retaining the right to use the house for a fixed term of 15 years. If they both survive the 15-year term, the beach house will be transferred to their children at the then-current market value, while avoiding significant estate taxes.

Example 2: Mr. Johnson, a successful entrepreneur, owns a primary residence that he purchased years ago for $5 million. He plans to gift the property to his daughter and her family in the future. To minimize his exposure to gift taxes, Mr. Johnson creates a QPRT and structures it to allow him to continue living in the property for the next 10 years. When the trust term ends, his daughter receives the property without Mr. Johnson incurring significant gift taxes. Additionally, the property’s value is excluded from Mr. Johnson’s taxable estate upon his death.

Example 3: A well-known artist, Mrs. Thompson, owns a large estate that she uses both as her home and her art studio. She has three children whom she wants to benefit from the estate without facing significant taxes. Mrs. Thompson establishes two separate QPRTs, one for the primary residence and the other for her art studio (since the IRS allows QPRTs for one primary residence and one secondary residence). She sets a 12-year term for both trusts, during which she can continue using the properties. Once the term ends, her children will inherit the properties without incurring high estate or gift taxes, assuming Mrs. Thompson survives the trust term.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT)?

A Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT) is an estate planning tool that can help individuals reduce their taxable estate’s value by placing their primary or secondary residence into an irrevocable trust. The grantor transfers the property to the trust, retains the right to live in it for a specified term of years, and then passes the property to the named beneficiaries.

How does a QPRT work?

When a grantor establishes a QPRT, they transfer the title of the residence to the trust. They retain the right to live in the property rent-free for a predetermined period. After this term ends, the property either passes to the designated beneficiaries, or the grantor may continue living in the home by paying rent to the beneficiaries.

What are the tax benefits of a QPRT?

A QPRT provides potential tax benefits by removing the property’s value from the grantor’s estate, which may reduce future estate taxes. When the trust is established, the property’s value is determined, and the eventual gift to beneficiaries is valued at a discount, based on the term of the trust and the interest rates at that time. This discounted value may result in lower gift taxes.

Can I change the terms of a QPRT after it’s established?

A QPRT is an irrevocable trust, meaning that once it has been created, the terms cannot generally be altered, and the grantor cannot reclaim the property’s ownership. It is essential to consult with professional advisors before establishing a QPRT to ensure that the trust meets your long-term financial and estate planning goals.

What happens if the grantor dies before the QPRT term ends?

If the grantor dies before the specified term ends, the property reverts to the grantor’s estate and is subject to estate taxes. In this scenario, the tax benefits of the QPRT generally would not be realized.

Can any property be transferred into a QPRT?

In most cases, QPRTs can only hold a primary residence or a secondary residence, such as a vacation home. Properties that do not qualify include rental properties, commercial properties, or properties that are not used primarily for residential purposes.

Is setting up a QPRT a suitable option for everyone?

A QPRT may not be suitable for everyone and depends on factors such as the value of the property, the size of the grantor’s estate, mortality risk, and personal financial goals. It is essential to consult with financial planners, tax advisors, and estate planning professionals to determine if a QPRT aligns with your specific financial and estate planning needs.

Related Finance Terms

  • Estate Tax Reduction
  • Gift Tax Exclusion
  • Retained Income Interest
  • Remainder Beneficiary
  • QPRT Term Period

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