|Estate Planning. Estate planning strives to effect the transfer of assets from an individual to others (beneficiaries) in a manner that is tax-efficient and implements the individual’s values and wishes. The transfer of assets may occur during the individual’s life and/or after his death. Methods commonly include wills, family LLCs and limited partnerships, and trusts. With individual lifetime exemptions for gift and estate tax and generation-skipping transfer tax set at $5+ million permanently (i.e., until the U.S. Congress decides otherwise), some of the tax-related aspects of estate planning have become simplified for all except the very wealthy.
Many different factors are considered when forming a plan. They include total value of assets, the type of assets (e.g., family business, family home(s), real estate, stocks and bonds, collectibles), beneficiaries’ ages and their capacity to manage their own financial affairs, and of course, the individual’s personal wishes about how his assets should be used.
Asset protection measures should be included in every estate plan and in every family business plan. The specter of divorce, personal-liability court judgments and a spendthrift beneficiary hangs over all accumulated wealth. By minimizing or eliminating such risks, the integrated estate planning of this law practice protects and builds wealth.