The IRS has released new regulations which substantially reduce or eliminate provisions which have made family limited partnerships such a popular estate planning strategy for wealthy families. Planning of this sort used minority interests and lack of control provisions to obtain substantial valuation discounts. These discounts have been commonly used to minimize or avoid estate and transfer taxes for transfers to family members. The new rules will do away with these discounts.
If you expect to have a taxable estate and have contemplated making transfers to your family members to reduce your eventual estate tax burden, you will need to act quickly to take advantage of using the old rules before the new regulations take effect. The public hearing on the new regulations will occur on December 1, so they will not become effective until after that date. However, planning these sorts of transactions is not a simple process, so if you are interested, contact your estate planning counsel soon to see if this could be useful to you before the new rules take effect.