Although it may seem difficult, estate planning is most important during a recession. Sticking to an estate plan will help you maximize the benefits of your assets and property in both the short and long term, and will allow you to minimize any damage that may be done to your long term plans.
One tool you may use in your estate plan that is beginning to look more attractive precisely because of the current depressed value of assets is the Grantor Retained Annuity Trust. These Trusts pay a fixed amount per year for the number of years that is determined at the establishment of the Trust. Then, any assets that are left in the Trust after the fixed term are passed to beneficiaries tax-free. In a market where assets are being valued at historic lows, the chances of growth exceeding payment is more likely, and can produce distinct advantages for your beneficiaries.