High Net-Worth Individuals Face Specific Issues When it Comes to Estate Planning
Our Lawyers Serve Clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania
You work hard for your money. When the time comes for you to pass your assets along to your loved ones, you want to minimize tax consequences, provide for your heirs, control who runs your business and more.
At Bratton Scott, we offer superior legal counsel to clients looking to protect their considerable assets for future generations. Our attorneys understand the particular complexities of assisting high net-worth clients, and can anticipate any potential problems before they arise. From our offices in New Jersey and Philadelphia, we offer you a client-centered experience based in pursuing the best possible outcomes for you.
High-Asset Individuals Face Specific Planning Issues; We Can Help
Estate planning is a complicated process regardless of your financial position. For individuals with a greater number of assets, or whose assets have a high monetary value, that process may become even more complex. At Bratton Scott, we advise clients about:
- Taxes – including federal, NJ and PA estate, inheritance and fiduciary taxes.
- Business Succession Planning
- If you have an interest in a company or corporation, you will have to decide who gets your interest. You will also need to review the corporate bylaws to determine which rights someone who acquires your interest will possess.
- If you have a partnership, a well-written partnership agreement will set the terms for succession. Unfortunately, many partnership agreements fail to cover all issues relating to succession.
- If you’re a sole proprietor, you have singular control with regard to choosing your successor.
- Value – Corporate bylaws, the partnership agreement and other preset documents may help determine the value of your business.
- Family interests – Many high-end business owners want to make sure the interest or share of the business are protected for family members.
- Asset Protection – Many high-risk professional clients want to create a plan to protect their assets in the event they are named in a lawsuit.
Options for Protecting High-Net Assets and Reducing Tax Implications
We have expertise in a wide variety of options when it comes to making sure that individuals of significant means will be protected and that their wishes regarding disposition of assets is carried out in accordance with their desires. Talk to us about:
Wills: A properly drafted will can take care of tax, succession, value and other high-asset issues.
Gifting: Current laws allow you to provide gifts to your children and others without tax consequences, with limits. There are limits for each year you give gifts and there are also lifetime limits.
Trusts: There are many types of trusts that will ensure your chosen beneficiaries receive what you put aside for them. Common trusts used during high-asset estate planning may include:
- Qualified Personal Residence Trusts: These allow you to transfer your house to a trust. You keep the right to live in the house for a specific amount of time until which time the house is transferred legally to your beneficiary. Your estate taxes will be reduced, and you will be able to protect your estate from creditors.
- Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts: While proceeds from a life insurance policy don’t directly pass through your estate, there are tax consequences. An irrevocable life insurance trust is an estate tax saving device.
- Credit Shelter Trusts: These types of trusts are created to maximize each person’s exemption amount in order to reduce taxes. They offer innumerable benefits to married couples who wish to protect one another should one spouse pass away before the other.
- Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts: The name seems counterintuitive but in some cases this is a valuable tool that can be used to reduce your taxable estate and to protect assets from unforeseen expenses. The intentionally defective grantor trust is drafted in such a way that ensures income tax laws won’t recognize that assets are no longer owned by the person paying taxes.
- Asset Protection Trusts: When set up and funded properly, these trusts offer the benefit of protecting assets in favorable jurisdictions.
You May Want to Consider a Family Limited Partnership
A Family Limited Partnership (FLP) or Limited Liability Company (LLC) are other options for making sure family members receive their designated portion of your estate after your death, while allowing you to reduce your own tax liability. By creating an FLP or LLC, you give away some of the value an asset, such as a business or stock. In this situation, you keep control (i.e. general partnership interest) while the beneficiary gets a financial interest (i.e. Limited partnership interest).
There are complex requirements involved in creating an FLP. Speak to an experienced attorney at Bratton Scott who can explain your options and draft the documents you decide are in your best financial interest.
Contact Bratton Scott for High-Asset Estate Planning Advice
Contact us for a consultation with an experienced lawyer at Bratton Scott. We will review your situation, explain your options and draft the right documents for your estate planning needs based on your specific high-asset circumstances. Call 856-857-6007 or fill out our convenient online form.