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A popular estate planning tool is to transfer assets out of your estate by gift or sale, putting the assets and future appreciation out of the reach of the 40% estate tax.  Over the years, valuation discounts have greatly enhanced this technique.  When structured properly, the courts have upheld these valuation discounts, even for transfers between family members.  However, it appears that the window of opportunity to take valuation discounts on certain intra-family transfers may soon close.  


Cathy Hughes with the Treasury's Office of Tax Policy recently announced at an American Bar Association Tax Section meeting that proposed regulations limiting intra-family discounts may be issued by mid-September.  The latest word is that the window will close on the date they issue these proposed regulations, but that prior transfers will be grandfathered.  


If you own substantial assets that would be subject to the 40% estate tax at death, time may be of the essence to lock in the discount, maximizing the benefit of this type of planning and moving the assets out of your estate in the most tax-favored way.  There are even ways to do this where you can still have access to the assets and control over them.


Contact us if you'd like to take advantage of this planning opportunity before it's too late.

Marvin E. Blum
Gary V. Post
John R. Hunter
Steven W. Novak
Amanda L. Holliday
Edward K. Clark