Earning income is one thing; accumulating and preserving it are different things entirely. Although we are generally concerned with income taxes, few individuals are in the maximum income tax bracket. Yet, when they combine the value of their home, employer-provided and individually-owned insurance policies, and retirement plan assets, many individuals are surprised to find themselves in the maximum transfer tax bracket.
I believe that everyone should plan how their estate is to be distributed to their loved ones. This requires me to work with my clients to help them identify their objectives for their accumulated wealth. Once I have identified their objectives, my role is to develop a plan to meet those objectives at the least possible tax cost.
Developing a comprehensive family estate plan typically allows me to coordinate input from the client's attorney, investment counsel, and insurance agents. I believe that each of these areas is an important professional specialty and should be addressed by individuals trained in these fields.
One estate may require a simple will. Another may require one or more trusts to meet the client's tax and nontax objectives. A third may require a complex family limited partnership arrangement. I have the knowledge and expertise to work with any of these requirements. Effective tax planning is not expensive; it does not cost; it pays.