The Business Side – Assets And Finances
Business Side, Assets And Finances For Estate Maximization
The business side, assets and finances for estate maximization requires the origination and execution of a solid financial strategy that will protect and increase the bottom line net worth of your collective holdings; so your accumulated assets, one day to be passed on to your family heirs, to charity or combination of both, reflects the absolute largest valuation possible. It includes anticipation and preparation for what happens after the wealth owner passes with regards to estate taxes, avoiding probate and other unnecessary legal expenses, trusts and working with the IRS.
Estate planning can be complex and being able to comprehend what is necessary is crucial. The estate tax punishes years of hard work and robs families of large parts of its legacy and heritage by imposing a penalty on inheritance after death – an enormous levy on money that had already been taxed. The federal estate tax currently seizes 40% of an individual’s net worth after $5.49 million (2017), and individuals’ state of residence may also represent an additional consideration.
Estates are assessed with the proceeds typically going to one of three entities: 1) family and friends, 2) charitable causes, 3) the government, or some combination of the three. If not careful about this, the government, through taxation laws, takes full advantage of mistakes. If you’d like near half or more of your estate to go to federal and state governments, then they will gladly accommodate that. My experience reveals that you feel otherwise.
A sound estate maximization strategy will enable a portfolio and personal holdings value to expand almost organically. You should expect and plan for this. Many don’t take advantage. Certainly the particulars of a client’s estate must be reviewed to understand its status, but a second picture should also be taken which focuses on the long term horizon.
All of the bases must be covered, addressed by your estate maximization quarterback in conjunction with the help of your advisor team. Tactical planning isn’t the answer. It is the development of a big picture, long term estate maximization strategy and the associated implementation.
Estate Maximization is derived from two things. The first is the confusion and cliche usage of “Estate Planning”, that generally starts with legal documents and is tied to tax code. “Estate Planning” generally is thought a majority of the time as something tied to what happens after death, and a small emphasis is placed on the “while living” benefits and components to this. So Estate Maximization tries to clearly define that the results to one’s estate are impacted immediately, thus equal emphasis on “living and death.”
It also clearly defines the, more than a little, legal and some accounting, to efficiency and maximization is possible and accomplished using every aspect of one’s financial life. Legal, accounting, small business management, investments, all insurances (property casualty, life, etc), banking, trust departments, etc. So Estate Maximization Answers the three words or less, however, making it simple to train and for a client will be to utilize the best of the above to clean, concise, consumer friendly verbiage.
This ties directly into my background, and where the nearly 21 years of experience in all areas listed provides the ability to orchestrate and bring Estate Maximization to life. For the example of a person with a net worth of $20MM+, the ability for me to use all aspects of my financial knowledge and experience comes heavily into action. In other words, we put it to work.
The first meeting, when possible, includes the estate/business attorney. Under normal circumstances, it would be to determine what type of planning is best for the current situation for “Estate Planning” which may have merely been to utilize life insurance with current legal docs to pass onto heirs/philanthropy, etc. That’s a very narrow, and likely to be ineffective, approach though…
The ability to dig deeper with regards to banking/lending (currently with line of credit for the business), along with how real estate is structured, liquidity in bank accounts, etc. will not only provide risk management for the estate, it will also allow us to maximize the estate through other options that will be discussed that will help increase cash flow and reduce cost to put the planning in place. That also provides flexibility on an annual basis when the plan is reviewed to ensure that more can be passed than intended, and for more generations. And if drastic changes do occur, we have the ability to adjust to these changes and ensure ongoing success for the estate with regards to making the right decisions for you.
A trust (“corporate trust” for businesses) is a designed and documented legal fiduciary entity that holds assets on behalf of one or a number of beneficiaries designated by the current estate’s owner(s).
Trusts are employed primarily to properly position an estate, to minimize vulnerability to over-taxation, save probate court and litigation expenses and offer a number of other benefits that aid with the development of a well designed estate maximization strategy.
Different types of trusts are available to achieve a variety of specific estate maximization objectives. Trusts can be arranged and drafted in various ways and usually provide precise directions as to how and when assets are to be transferred to named beneficiaries.
Some other benefits that trusts can deliver:
- You may specify the terms of a trust precisely; controlling to who and when distributions of the trust property are to be made. One example (of many) would be to set up a revocable trust so the trust holdings remain accessible to you during your lifetime while designating to whom the remaining assets will pass thereafter. Even situations such as children from more than one marriage can be accommodated.
- Properly constructed trusts can help protect estates from the creditors of heirs or from beneficiaries who may not be capable of properly managing newly received wealth.
- Trusts allow the opportunity for assets to pass outside of probate, offering privacy, in addition to reducing sums lost to taxes or to court and other litigation expenses.
- Since trusts usually avoid probate, beneficiaries may gain access to assets sooner than they normally might than if they were transferred via a will.
PLEASE NOTE: State laws regarding trusts vary greatly and should be understood before selections or other decisions are finalized.
Trusts contribute greatly to the complete science of maximizing an estate’s net value. Consult with me or other estate strategist for more information about the flexibility of trusts and how they can help you to maximize your estate.
According to the U.S. Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the estate tax will cost high net-worth families approximately $246 billion from 2016-2025 under current law.
Nothing of financial importance can sustain without periodic reviews. Naturally, Estate Maximization planning is done up front, but must also be executed and maintained once or twice a year. If your current estate planner is not insisting on implementation and reviews, you’re likely being victimized by financial “erosion” which are topics of discussion you should want to address.
If you want to protect and dictate where your property goes, then you need an estate maximization plan…
I’m easy to reach and speak with and look forward to sharing more about our company and Estate Maximization with you.
You can keep it in your family…
P.S. I assure you that any time you spend with me will be rewarded with ideas and perspectives that will help enable your family to preserve its wealth long into the future. After all, they’re your assets. You worked very hard and deserve to keep them in your family!
We don’t circumvent and we work well with in-place legal, accounting and all other advisor team members whenever requested or otherwise professionally and ethically appropriate.