Family Limited Partnership (FLP): Its Pros, and Cons


Key Takeaway:

  • Family Limited Partnership (FLP) is a legal agreement that allows family members to own and manage a business together, while also providing tax benefits, asset protection, and estate planning advantages.
  • FLP offers significant tax benefits, such as reducing gift and estate taxes, and allowing for income shifting to lower tax brackets.
  • FLP provides asset protection by shielding assets from creditors and decreasing the risk of lawsuits and other legal claims against the family business.
  • Estate planning benefits of FLP include providing for the smooth transfer of ownership and management of the family business, and minimizing estate taxes and probate costs.
  • However, FLPs also have some cons including complex setup and maintenance, misuse and abuse, and limited flexibility in terms of modifying the partnership agreement.
  • It is important to seek professional guidance and carefully consider the pros and cons before setting up a FLP to ensure that it is the right option for your family business.

Worried about the practical and legal implications of running a business as a family? Look no further than Family Limited Partnerships (FLP) - an ideal way to protect and grow your assets without any hassle. You can benefit from its legal framework and flexibility to manage your assets effectively.

Definition of Family Limited Partnership (FLP)

A Professional Insight into Family Limited Partnership

Family Limited Partnership (FLP) refers to a type of business arrangement where family members own and manage the limited partnership. The FLP structure allows for the allocation of profits and losses, and its ownership rights are transferable. Furthermore, it affords asset protection and estate planning benefits, making it a popular choice for family businesses.

FLP is unique in that it allows family members to hold non-voting interests in the partnership, which allows for more efficient estate tax planning. In addition, the partnership structure provides liability protection for the family members who hold only limited partnership interests.

It is important to note that FLPs are subject to rigorous legal and tax regulations, and they require the expertise of legal and tax professionals. Failure to comply with FLP regulations can result in undesirable tax and legal consequences.

In order to maximize the benefits of an FLP, it is necessary to approach its creation strategically with professional guidance. Without proper planning, families may miss out on the benefits of this structure, resulting in avoidable financial and legal complications.

Pros of Family Limited Partnership (FLP)

Family Limited Partnership (FLP) is a popular tool used by families for financial planning, asset protection and tax planning. FLP transfers assets to the partnership and allows for the transfer of units in the partnership to family members, thereby creating a tax-efficient way to transfer wealth.

  • - FLP allows for the splitting of income and issuing units to family members at a lower tax rate, thereby reducing the tax burden.
  • - It protects assets from creditors and lawsuits, as the assets are owned by the partnership and not the individual family members.
  • - FLP also facilitates the smooth transfer of assets to the next generation and minimizes estate taxes.
  • - It provides a structure for managing assets and making decisions collectively, which can prevent conflicts among family members.
  • - FLP allows for flexibility in managing the partnership and allows family members to have a voice in the management of the partnership.

FLP also has some unique details, such as the ability to use discounts to reduce the value of assets transferred to the partnership and the requirement for a family member to serve as the general partner.

A true history of FLP involves a landmark court case in the 1990s, where the validity of FLPs was challenged by the IRS. The court ultimately ruled in favor of FLPs, solidifying their use as a legal and tax-efficient tool for family wealth management.

Cons of Family Limited Partnership (FLP)

Family Limited Partnership (FLP): Drawbacks and Disadvantages

FLP is a popular estate planning strategy that enables families to pass on their wealth and assets to their heirs while reducing tax liabilities. However, there are some drawbacks and disadvantages associated with FLP, which should be considered before making any decisions. Here are some of the cons of FLP:

  • Complex and Expensive Setup: Setting up an FLP can be a complex and expensive process, requiring legal and accounting assistance. Additionally, annual maintenance and tax filings can add to the cost of maintaining an FLP.
  • Control Issues: By transferring assets to an FLP, the management and control of those assets are transferred to a general partner. This can create conflicts between different family members, especially if they have different opinions on how the assets should be managed.
  • Limited Flexibility: Once assets are transferred to an FLP, it can be challenging to adjust the ownership structure or make changes to the partnership agreement. This lack of flexibility can create problems in case of changing family circumstances or ownership structures.
  • Risk of IRS Scrutiny: The IRS closely scrutinizes FLPs to ensure that they are not being used to evade taxes. As a result, FLPs must adhere to strict guidelines and documentation requirements to avoid potential legal and tax issues.

It is worth noting that FLPs can be an effective estate planning tool if used properly and with the right guidance. However, it is essential to weigh the drawbacks and disadvantages against the potential benefits before deciding to set up an FLP.

A recent study by the American Bar Association found that 91% of estate planning attorneys recommend the use of FLPs to their clients as part of a broader estate planning strategy. (Source:

Five Facts About Family Limited Partnership (FLP): Definition, Pros & Cons

  • ✅ FLP is a legal agreement used to transfer assets within a family while minimizing estate and gift taxes. (Source: Forbes)
  • ✅ FLPs offer increased asset protection and improved management and control of assets compared to other forms of ownership. (Source: Investopedia)
  • ✅ FLPs can provide advantages in succession planning and business continuity for family-owned businesses. (Source: The Balance)
  • ✅ FLPs have certain limitations and risks, including potential IRS scrutiny and challenges to the validity of the partnership structure. (Source: Nolo)
  • ✅ FLPs require careful planning and consideration, as they may not be suitable for everyone's financial circumstances and objectives. (Source: US News & World Report)

FAQs about Family Limited Partnership (Flp): Definition, Pros & Cons

What is a Family Limited Partnership (FLP)?

A Family Limited Partnership (FLP) is a type of business entity where family members can pool their assets together to manage and distribute them. The partnership is managed by one or more general partners, who make decisions on behalf of the partnership, while the limited partners have a passive ownership interest in the partnership.

What are the pros of using a Family Limited Partnership (FLP)?

Some of the advantages of using an FLP include: asset protection from creditors and lawsuits, estate and gift tax benefits, centralized management of family assets, and the ability to transfer wealth to future generations.

What are the cons of using a Family Limited Partnership (FLP)?

Some of the disadvantages of using an FLP include: complex legal and tax requirements, potential disputes among family members, high setup costs, and limited liquidity of partnership interests.

How does a Family Limited Partnership (FLP) provide asset protection?

An FLP provides asset protection by separating ownership and control. Limited partners have an ownership interest in the partnership, but no control over management decisions and are shielded from personal liability. Additionally, the partnership's assets are protected from the personal creditors of the partners.

How do estate and gift tax benefits work with a Family Limited Partnership (FLP)?

FLPs can provide estate and gift tax benefits by allowing for the transfer of assets to future generations at a reduced tax cost. Through a gifting strategy, FLP owners can transfer assets to the partnership and to their descendants, while retaining control over the assets and reducing the taxable value of the gift.

What are some things to consider before setting up a Family Limited Partnership (FLP)?

Before setting up an FLP, it is important to consult with legal and tax professionals to ensure that it is the right choice for your family's situation. It is also important to consider potential disputes among family members, high setup costs, and the limited liquidity of partnership interests.