Family limited liability companies can be a convenient vehicle to hold and administer family investments.  They offer significant benefits from both an estate planning and asset protection standpoint.  Until recently, the entity of choice for family investments was a family limited partnership (often just called an FLP).  While there is nothing wrong with an FLP, we are now using LLC’s more frequently.  There are some technical legal differences between the two forms of entity, but the benefits are basically the same.

Holding family investments (such as marketable securities and real estate) in a family LLC makes it significantly more difficult for a creditor to reach those assets than if they were held individually.  Keep in mind that not only you, but also your children and other family members could potentially have future creditor problems.  So an LLC can help protect the interests of all family members.

A family LLC can also be a useful vehicle for estate planning purposes.  Rather than making outright gifts to children, you can gift interests in the family LLC.  You may be able to take advantage of some discounts for gift and estate planning purposes.

The bottom line is that a family LLC can be a useful tool for both asset protection and estate planning purposes.