All of us are affected by the economic recession, but you should know that certain estate planning techniques become much more valuable when asset prices plunge – so this is a good time to take advantage of them. Some of the best estate planning strategies involve giving a partial interest in your assets to your heirs now, while retaining effective control over the assets. The idea is to get these partial interests out of your estate at today’s value, rather than later when they will presumably be worth more. And if you can get these interests out of your estate in a period when asset prices are temporarily depressed, the savings can be even greater.
So now might be a good time to pass on to your heirs an interest in a family business, real estate investments, a vacation home, or other assets. Some of the techniques that might be worth considering are a family limited partnership, a retained-interest trust, and a qualified personal residence trust.