HigH net wortH
to engage are those who still think of
themselves as so young that they aren’t
yet thinking about estate planning.
Lee says he took one 45-year-
old client out to lunch repeatedly to
explain to him, in great detail, why he
should place his current wealth into
Lee urged the client — who had a
net worth of $30 million to $40 million, largely in a business he owns
— to put a gift of about $15 million into
One estate lawyer says he’s gOtten
new clients a mOnth as the
a family limited liability corporation.
The LLC would act as a “unifying tool”
to bring a lot of disparate assets, in real
estate, hedge funds and other instru-
ments, into one basket. Then, the LLC
would go into a dynasty trust.
Ann Marsh is senior editor
and West Coast bureau chief of
Several experts say there are several workaround strategies available to clients and their planners to
take advantage of the deadline to entrust assets under
If clients lack the time to fully appraise assets,
they could take some of the following steps now,
according to Las Vegas estate lawyer Steve Oshins.
• As a stopgap measure,
place liquid assets that do not
have a valuation requirement
into a trust. The trust can then
include a power for the client
to swap out those assets later
in exchange for a share or percentage of another asset that
must still be valued.
• Tailoring a document
(sometimes called an assign-
ment) to state the client’s intention to transfer a
specified dollar amount of an asset into a dynasty
trust, instead of a fixed percentage interest in that
asset or entity, may allow the client to avoid the
tax risk of transferring more than the $5.12 million
exemption. This strategy also permits the client to
await an appraiser’s valuation of that asset at a later
date. It accomplishes the asset transfer for tax pur-
poses now, but allows the client the freedom of deter-
mining how many shares, or what percentage, of an
asset ultimately will be placed into the trust. How-
ever, Oshins cautions, clients need to get an appraisal
as soon as possible after creating the assignment in
order not to raise red flags with the IRS.
Some clients simply
took too long to
urgency of taking
action this year.