Many estate planning techniques are intended to minimize or even eliminate gift and estate taxes when transferring assets to family members. Sometimes, the most powerful techniques also have a significant drawback: mortality risk.
You may have to outlive the term of a trust to realize its tax benefits. A self-canceling installment note (SCIN) eliminates mortality risk, so it may be appropriate for anyone in poor health who isn’t expecting to reach his or her actuarial life expectancy. But it has other potential downsides.