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Traditionally, families have relied on valuation discounts when transferring interests in closely-held family businesses to the next generations. Transfers of minority interests in a closely-held family entity were generally allowed a minority discount when valuing interests for estate and gift and tax purposes, primarily due to the inability of a minority shareholder to compel a liquidation of the entity. These discounts often proved to be a helpful way for the family to avoid the need to sell the family business to pay estate taxes, by reducing the gift and estate tax burden on such transfers. The proposed regulations effectively eliminate any minority discounts and largely any marketability discounts on the valuations for estate and gift tax purposes. If these regulations are finalized, they would impact transfers between family members of interests in family-controlled corporations, partnerships, LLCs and other business entities, regardless of whether the business is active or passive.

From left to right: Maria Teresa Kumar, Shiza Shahid and Robert Ross (President and CEO, The California Endowment) at the Council on Foundations 2016 Annual Conference.

From April 9 to April 12, I had the good fortune to be part of the Council on Foundations 2016 Annual Conference. The Council welcomed nearly 1,400 leaders in the philanthropic sector to Washington, D.C., for plenary programs and concurrent sessions focused on "the Future of Community through the lenses of identity, purpose, and place." Here are four of my biggest takeaways from the Conference:

1. When you want to fill a room to capacity, talk about the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. One concurrent session was so popular that attendees filled the seats, stood along the walls and sat on the floor. The topic that drew this crowd was "Philanthropy Outside the Tax-Exempt Model." The discussion covered the alternative vehicles for individual and corporate giving, such as public benefit corporations, L3Cs and B-Corp certified companies, which have been embraced by a new generation of philanthropists, most notably Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan.

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