Kelley Rating (one asterisk = lowest, five asterisks = highest):
- Ease of navigation, design of interface and learning curve ******
- Instructional documentation and help system ****
- Carries out the goal of the product as advertised ******
- Overall usefulness ******
Tiger Tables is an excellent software program that performs standalone calculations of the actuarial factors needed by trusts and estates practitioners. It includes the computations needed for the evaluation of a number of estate and charitable planning techniques.
The program incorporates the latest Internal Revenue Service mortality tables effective for transactions on or after May 1, 2009 (you may select the current tables, the CM90 tables or the 80CNSMT tables, where applicable). This latest version of Tiger Tables includes calculations for charitable lead annuity trusts, including variable charitable lead annuity trusts (also known as Shark-Fin trusts).
· the IRS life estate, annuity and remainder factors for terms of years and up to 10 lives,
· the income and annuity factors for terms of years or until a prior death (and first to die of two persons), and
· the worth of a dollar due on the death of a person within a given term.
The program computes the annuity factors, the value of annuity and the value of remainder for:
· charitable remainder annuity trusts (CRATs) (up to 10 lives),
· charitable remainder unitrusts (CRUTs) (up to 10 lives),
· charitable lead annuity trusts (CLATs) (including calculation of the value of an annuity in an eroding corpus trust under the IRS Section 7520 regulations and Shark-Fin trusts), and
· charitable lead unitrusts.
The program also addresses:
· deduction amounts for the gift of a remainder interest in a personal residence to charity,
· pooled income fund factors and annuity factors,
· charitable deductions, and
· expected return and exclusion ratios for both current and deferred charitable gift annuities.
Tiger Tables also calculates the factors (reversion, gift and retained value) for grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs) and qualified personal residence trusts, but it does not address grantor retained unitrusts. It addresses a variety of life expectancy calculations, probability of survival alternatives and factors for the value of a dollar at future ages.
Tiger Tables provides a variety of miscellaneous calculations, such as the amount of a unitrust or annuity trust inclidable in an estate, private annuities (deferred or graduated), self-canceling installment notes and value of a 5 and 5 withdrawal power. It includes commutation tables, level payment loan amortization schedules, a sophisticated estate tax calculator and a nearest age calculator for a given transaction date. For the complete list of the program features see Tiger Tables 2009 on the publisher’s website.
This program includes a number of economic schedules reflecting periodic distributions from trusts, but it does not generate graphic displays such as pie charts or bar charts.
Other programs perform standalone calculations comparable to Tiger Tables.
zCalc (now the EstatePlanner module of ThomsonReuters OneSource Trust and Estate Administration), based on Excel, supplies an Excel function library for your own spreadsheet construction and estate planning presentations.
What’s It All About?
Tiger Tables is designed only for Windows. The downloaded file will require about 5 MGB of space on your hard drive. The program operates on a network and does not require installation on individual machines.
The publisher’s website has a complete table of Internal Revenue Code Section 7520 applicable federal rates (AFRs) and a table of charitable gift annuity rates for single life and two life and interest factors for deferred annuities (except for New Jersey and New York). The program automatically updates the AFRs in the background.
Tiger Tables has a clean and simple interface. The categories of computations are listed on a top menu with drop down menus for the individual computations. The screens reflect the Assumptions data entry on the left hand side and the Results on the right hand side, permitting one screen viewing of inputs and computations.
For GRATs, Shark-Fin trusts and amortization tables, where schedules are included, the screen displays convenient top tabs for Assumptions/Results and Economic Results (such as schedules of periodic distributions from trusts).
The emerging popularity of the Shark-Fin trust makes the inclusion of that calculation in the program an important item. The computations for this trust permit entry of annual annuity payments consisting of irregular dollar amounts or a percentage increase in the payments and a final payment to zero out the final payment. As the author, Larry Katzenstein, states: “The so-called Shark-Fin charitable lead trust relies on the statement in Revenue Procedure 2007-45 that the annuity paid by a charitable lead annuity trust need only be determinable, and need not be the same amount each year as long as some annuity is paid in each year.”
For a discussion on the advantages of a down market for making gifts, see Douglas Moore’s “Now is the Time to Consider a Charitable Lead Trust,” in the Trusts & Estates Charitable Giving Supplement June 2009. For a discussion of GRATs, Shark-Fin trusts and other CLATs, see Jim Grote’s “Shark-Fin CLATs vs. the Bears - Charitable Giving in Down Times” on the Planned Giving Design Center website; Paul S Lee’s “Chomping Your Taxes in Half with Shark-Fin CLATs,” and “The Most Compelling Planning Opportunities Today” (both presented by Bernstein Global Wealth Management).
The GRAT component on Tiger Tables allows for calculations on a graduated basis (annual annuity increase) and allows you to calculate the gift amount by taking into account mortality (non-Walton GRAT) and trust exhaustion per IRS Revenue Ruling 77-454. The GRAT calculator permits the input of an assumed investment growth rate.
The charitable factors calculator computes remainder interests in CRATs, CRUTs and pooled income funds with these factors calculated for up to 10 lives. It also computes the value of the remainder in the gift of a personal residence to charity.
The gift annuity calculator computes both current and deferred gift annuities, including the charitable deduction, the expected return and the excluded portion of each annuity payment and, if appreciated property is used to purchase the annuity, the capital gain reportable each year over the life of the annuitant.
What About Help and Support?
The Help screens include author Larry Katzenstein’s explanations of planning techniques, citations of authority and instructional help for each entry field. Pressing Help at the top menu of any screen brings up an explanation of the technique, or utility, calculated on that screen. Pressing F-1 with the cursor on any prompt displays instructions for that prompt. The author, an authority in the estate planning field, is also available by e-mail at [email protected] or 314-552-6187 to provide help for questions not covered by the help screens.
Where Do You Get This Software?
This software is available through the publisher:
Lawrence P. Katzenstein, Tiger Tables Software
4529 Pershing Place, St. Louis, Missouri 63108.
A free demo version may be downloaded from the publisher’s website. It performs the full operations of the program, but is restricted to a 10 percent AFR and does not include the help screens.
The software has a base fee of $299 for a single user copy with a charge of $50 for each additional user.
Tiger Tables supplies you with a plethora of trusts and estates related actuarial calculations, utilities and planning techniques that are needed for the support of your practice. Such free standing calculations are indispensible for both crunching the numbers as you plan and for verifying the calculations produced by the more complex major planning programs.
Trusts & Estates magazine is pleased to present the monthly Technology Review by Donald H. Kelley—a respected connoisseur of the software and Internet resources wealth management advisors use to further their practices.
Kelley is a lawyer living in Highlands Ranch, Colo. and is of counsel to the law firm of Kelley, Scritsmier & Byrne, P.C. of North Platte, Neb. He is the co-author of the Intuitive Estate Planner Software, (Thomson – West 2004). He has served on the governing boards of the American Bar Association Real Property Probate and Trust Section and the American College of Tax Counsel. He is a past regent and past chair of the Committee on Technology in the Practice of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.
Trusts & Estates has asked Kelley to provide his unvarnished opinions on the tech resources available in the practice today. His columns are edited for readability only. Send feedback and suggestion for articles directly to him at [email protected].