Robert J. Kolasa
Creditor General Powers of Appointment
See my article in the February 2020 edition of Trusts and Estates magazine. Basis optimization for credit shelter and irrevocable trusts often involves granting the trust beneficiary a general power of appointment (GPA) over trust assets to achieve stepped-up basis. One planning variation limits appointees to the powerholder's creditors or creditors of his estate (creditor GPAs). This seemingly achieves basis step-up without much risk of having property diverted to appointees outside the donor's dispositive scheme. Some practitioners caution against creditor GPAs because of uncertainty under local law regarding the girth of the appointive property.