ABA Magazine Features QPRT Essay Co-Authored by Michael Barker

January 29, 2019

Probate & Property Magazine — a publication of the American Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law — features as the lead story in its January-February 2019 issue an article co-authored by Richmond partner Michael Barker on qualified personal residence trusts.

QPRTs are a mainstay of wealthy clients who want to protect personal real property and safely pass it on to succeeding generations, but they’re not a panacea, Barker and his co-authors warned in their column, titled “Home Repair: A Handy Lawyer’s Guide to Fixing a Damaged QPRT.”

“QPRTs are not right for everyone — and even when they do make sense at the outset, family, financial, tax and other circumstances can change, lessening the effectiveness of the QPRT as a wealth transfer tool and making it a detriment to the family,” they wrote.

The article also examined the fundamental requirements of QPRTs and issues that can arise during and after administration. Rising interest rates and housing prices will boost the market for QPRTs, the authors noted. Advisers should be cautious before recommending them to clients as a long-term transaction, but can “take comfort and encouragement that there are myriad ways to repair (or unwind) a QPRT if the roof caves in.”