All Wealth is Personal
Determining your, your family and/or your business’ requirements starts with asking the right questions.
The first step in our highly tailored approach is to ask questions, perform an in-depth review of your current financial landscape, including assets and liabilities, estate documents and insurance, as well as issues and obligations. Once we understand, who you are . . . where you are . . . and what you want . . . we will be able to access our years of experience and develop a master plan.
Ten questions to ask yourself . . .
Is everything you are doing (personally and/or professionally) aligned with your objectives and goals?
What are your sources and uses of cash and is it well defined?
What does your big picture for investments / assets look like and is it aligned with your goals and objectives?
Do you have a clear purpose for your wealth and how it is managed for the short, intermediate and long term?
Are the right estate and tax tools in place? Have both the plan and math been recently tested?
Are the right risk management tools in place to protect your wealth, your family’s wealth and/or your business interests?
What do you own and how do you own it? (Registration / Title / Location)
Have your charitable, legacy or long term family values been addressed in your plan?
Are all your advisors (financial, legal, business & tax) working together?
What do you want your wealth to accomplish?
A soon to retire business owner . . .
A couple in their sixties . . .
An executive client . . .
A soon to retire business owner enjoyed the benefits of starting the planning process early. Over the years, he was able to groom, train and hire/retain the right people (even family members) to replace the many things he did to start, grow and create a successful business.
In establishing both a financial and time commitment to work “on” his business instead “in” his business well in advance of his transition date, his exit was not only smooth, the business is performing better, he has a well-funded retirement, and the family’s aggregate investment of time, hard work and capital is preserved for multiple generations without losing control to outsiders.
A couple in their early sixties with an extended family was introduced by their accountant. The couple had a sizable estate. They were curious about how the recent tax laws changes effected their plan. In reviewing their existing plan, investments and how things were owned/titled coupled with their current intentions, several oversights were discovered in their current plan.
By working with their attorney, their documents were updated to reflect their current wishes while establishing trusts to protect their children and their hard work from potential future divorces and creditors of their children/grandchildren. Their vacation home, rentals and land that the business leased were transferred into new LLCs to add a layer of protection beyond the basic insurance coverage.
Lastly, we were able to untangle and prevent some serious tax and family conflicts/ownership issues associated with one of their parent’s estate before she passed away later that year.
An executive client is expecting a significant bonus this year. The family is still in the accumulation phase of life. They are already concerned about paying too much in taxes on their investments and income. The extra bonus may be needed down the road for retirement, but currently it represents a larger tax bill this year.
To enhance the family’s ongoing charitable efforts, a Charitable Lead Annuity Trust (CLAT) was created and the bonus was used to fund this trust. Based on the government’s formula, the trust will help fund the family’s Donor Advised Fund (DAF) for the next eight years while also receiving a significant tax deduction for this calendar year, offsetting the taxes incurred from the bonus. At the end of the eighth year, the remaining assets in the trust will revert to the clients to support their retirement and other planning goals.