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Generational Split-Dollar Plans and Sections 2036 and 2038

June 18, 2019

We are pleased to announce that the following article by Robert W. Finnegan, J.D., CLU®, AEP®, was recently published in the June 2019 Estate Planning magazine.

Generational Split-Dollar Plans
and Sections 2036 and 2038

An analysis of recent court decisions provides insights for structuring generational split-dollar arrangements to withstand IRS challenges.

The Internal Revenue Service continues to litigate generational split dollar plans (GSD plan) arguing that Code secs. 2036(a)(2) and 2038(a)(1) require inclusion of the full face value of G1’s split dollar receivable. This article provides compelling arguments that a compliant GSD plan is not subject to those Code sections and that the plans should be entitled to a reasonable discount (similar to family limited partnerships). It also recommends that, until the law is more settled in this area, that plans be promoted assuming no discount.


Bob Finnegan is the Senior Vice President, Advanced Planning Attorney for Highland Capital Brokerage and a member of the Trusts & Estates magazine Insurance Committee. At Highland, Bob specializes in advanced planning for high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients. Bob can be reached at 518.424.8928 or

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