The pros and cons of creating a Family Limited Partnership or Family Limited Liability Company

By Lisa Featherngill and Melissa Linn

A Family Limited Partnership (FLP) or Family Limited Liability Company (FLLC) is a authorized entity created amongst relations. FLPs and FLLCs present a superb automobile to centralize the administration of property, defend in opposition to collectors, scale back administration bills of investments, and expose youthful relations to the funding and administration of property. In some states, the legislation favors FLLCs over FLPs.

Mechanics of an FLP

An FLP has a common accomplice, usually a dad or mum, who controls the administration of the partnership and is answerable for all partnership money owed. The common accomplice could also be an organization or restricted legal responsibility firm owned by the dad or mum and subsequently shields the final accomplice from limitless legal responsibility. 

The restricted companions, usually kids, haven’t any management over administration of the partnership property, obtain their pro-rata share of partnership earnings and are liable solely to the extent of their funding within the partnership. 

Distributions, transfers, and different administrative gadgets are managed by the Partnership Agreement. Based on case legislation round Internal Revenue Code Sec. 2036 (see Caution part under), it’s typically suggested to have the kids extra actively concerned.

Mechanics of an FLLC

An FLLC has members as an alternative of companions. Management of the FLLC is offered by the supervisor, who could also be a member. Administration of the FLLC is printed within the working settlement. An FLLC is taxed equally to an FLP (earnings is reported to members on a type Ok-1) however provides asset safety much like an organization.

Valuation reductions

Because the FLP or FLLC curiosity carries no potential to regulate, the worth of the curiosity isn’t equal to the worth of the underlying property. The principle is that if somebody supplied you a $10,000 piece of property, however you had no management over its use, you wouldn’t pay $10,000 for it. This is known as a minority curiosity management low cost. 

Likewise, the possession and switch of pursuits could have restrictions connected. This is known as marketability low cost and should trigger the worth of the partnership curiosity to be lower than the underlying worth. Valuation reductions are particularly helpful for taxpayers as a result of they supply present tax leverage; that’s, extra property could also be gifted underneath the annual exclusion or exemption than in any other case could be potential.


Parents type an FLLC and switch $100,000 to it. In return, they obtain all of the FLLC pursuits. The following 12 months, the mother and father resolve to offer 99% of the FLLC pursuits to their kids. The FLLC is appraised, and the appraiser informs the mother and father that the worth of the FLLC ought to be discounted by 35% on account of lack of management and marketability. Accordingly, the mother and father could present FLLC pursuits value $64,350 ($100,000 x .65 x .99) to their kids that, because of the household context, could also be value $99,000 to them.

Lisa Featherngill and Melissa Linn


Ever because the IRS dominated that minority and marketability pursuits could be acceptable within the household context within the early Nineteen Nineties, FLPs and FLLCs have been touted as automobiles to switch wealth to youthful generations at decreased federal present and property tax prices. 

For years, the IRS introduced a number of challenges to disallow the reductions taxpayers have been taking over present and property tax returns. Beginning within the late Nineteen Nineties, nevertheless, the IRS has succeeded in together with underlying property within the taxpayer’s property underneath Section 2036(a) of the Code, based mostly on an implied retention of the proper to benefit from the earnings. In addition, laws and rules have been proposed to eradicate reductions on intra-family transfers of FLPs and FLLCs. To date, none of those proposals have been enacted. However, they’ve been showing with extra frequency.

The backside line is that FLPs and FLLCs are intensely factual instances. FLPs or FLLCs that maintain property for a bona fide enterprise objective and respect the formalities (formation and administration) have a significantly better probability at success. 

FLPs and FLLCs are complicated monetary methods that when designed too aggressively could entice the eye of the IRS. Clients contemplating an FLP or FLLC should achieve this with excessive warning and with the seek the advice of of certified authorized counsel.


  • Clear/systematic switch to the subsequent era
  • Discounting has present and property tax advantages, though see the warning under
  • Allocate earnings to relations – pay attention to the kiddie tax (underneath 18 or full-time college students underneath age 24) on the mother and father’ tax fee
  • Control for Donor (at the least for a interval)
  • May present a automobile for educating youthful era
  • May present effectivity for administration of property


  • Lack of step-up in foundation for presented FLP or FLLC pursuits
  • Tax returns and different annual upkeep
  • Must be performed as a enterprise with common minutes and conferences
  • General companions uncovered to legal responsibility until owned by one other entity
  • Need to make use of trusts for transfers to minors
  • Family dynamics of co-owning property with out guidelines of the highway results in long run points

FLPs and FLLCs may be profitable wealth switch automobiles for households. They create constructions that enable for discounted wealth switch, schooling of the subsequent era, and environment friendly administration of property.

Caution ought to be taken to make sure that they’re established and run as a enterprise entity. The gifted pursuits won’t get a step-up in foundation and there can be extra administrative upkeep corresponding to tax returns, annual assembly minutes, and maybe belief upkeep. You ought to contemplate all of your choices for wealth switch together with your CPA and property legal professional.

About the authors

Melissa Linn is a Senior Wealth Planning Strategist who makes a speciality of having strategic conversations with purchasers to maximise alternatives and decrease unintended penalties. She develops personalized wealth planning options for enterprise homeowners, executives, and different excessive internet value purchasers. She joined Comerica in 2021 to cowl the Southeast area after spending nearly 16 years at Wells Fargo/Wachovia. Before becoming a member of Wachovia in 2006, Melissa labored at Deloitte and Stancil & Co targeted on tax compliance and planning with high-net-worth households and enterprise homeowners.

Lisa Featherngill leads a workforce of skilled and credentialed wealth planning specialists who develop personalized wealth planning options for enterprise homeowners and different excessive internet value purchasers. She joined Comerica in 2021 to steer the workforce and improve the Wealth Planning providing after spending nearly 25 years at Wells Fargo/Wachovia/First Union in planning management roles. Lisa spent the primary 11 years of her profession at Arthur Andersen in Washington, D.C., the place she was a member of the Personal Financial Planning and Family Wealth Planning groups.

Editor’s Note: The content material was reviewed for tax accuracy by a TurboTax CPA knowledgeable for the 2022 tax 12 months.