For estate planning these days, "the low-interest-rate environment offers incredible advantages," observes Ben Ledyard, director of wealth strategies for Boston-based Silver Bridge Advisors who leads the firm's new Wilmington, Delaware operation. While portfolio values are low, he helps set up "appreciation shifting or estate-freezing types of trusts." Springer has also found a greater tendency for inter-family loans while other forms of financing are still difficult to obtain. Loans to family members must be at the applicable federal rate (AFR), which the IRS sets on a monthly basis, in order not to be considered a gift.
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