How can I make lifetime gifts to my children to reduce my taxable estate, retain control over the assets, and also gain creditor protection?

You’ll lose control over your money during your lifetime if you make outright gifts to your kids. You understand the dangers. However, funding an irrevocable trust may not be your answer either, as you will lose control. A smarter solution may be to title your assets to a limited partnership with you and/or your spouse as its general partner. You would then annually transfer a percentage of the limited partnership interest to your children’s irrevocable trust. This allows you to reduce your taxable estate each year as you continue to shift your wealth in the form of limited partnership interests to your children’s trusts. Your assets will remain safe from your creditors because your assets are titled to a limited partnership. You will continue to control the assets because you are the general partner of the limited partnership. Your children’s interest will be twice protected from legal and financial problems – once by the limited partnership and again by their spendthrift trust. When you die, your remaining partnership interest will have a discounted value for estate tax purposes. You can also then leave your remaining limited partnership interest, or any part thereof, to your children’s’ trust. We have hundreds of ways to combine trusts, FLPs, LLCs, corporations and other entities to achieve nearly any asset protection and estate planning objective and our estate planning attorneys are quite expert at this.