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Why now is a good time for sophisticated estate planning

All of us are affected by the economic recession, but you should know that certain estate planning techniques become must more valuable when asset prices plunge – so this is a good time to take advantage of them.

Some of the best estate planning ideas 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 interests out of your estate now 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 low, the savings are 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 grantor retained annuity trust, a charitable lead trust, a sale to a dynasty trust and a qualified personal residence trust.

These techniques work best when assets have a reduced value and interest rates are low, so you might be able to use the recession to your advantage by making gifts of interests in assets that are temporarily depressed in value.

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