Do you ever title investment properties to limited partnerships?

Not generally. Before limited liability company laws were enacted, the limited partnership was the entity of choice to own investment properties because the only alternative was the corporation. However, the limited partnership offered the advantage of protecting the ownership interest in the entity since it was a COPE. Typically, a corporation was organized to be the general partner and hence, insulate those managing the general partner from partnership liabilities. But with the advent of the LLC over the last decade or two, the LLC has proven superior to own these properties because it is a COPE (which protects the members' ownership interest and the managers of the LLC have no personal liability).

But we do commonly have the membership interests in each LLC (holding a separate property) titled to one or more family limited partnerships. Consolidating the LLC ownership through one entity – the family limited partnership – accomplishes three things: 1) It simplifies administration and estate planning since only one entity (the limited partnership) owns all these individual entities; 2) the partners of the limited partnership can get a reduced estate tax valuation because the LLC interests are pooled into the FLP which qualifies for the estate tax discount; and 3) we add another level of protection because a creditor must now pierce both the limited partnership and the LLC to reach the underlying properties. And in many states the protection for LPs are stronger than for LLCs.