ESTATE AND GIFT PLANNING WILL HELP SHAPE YOUR FINANCIAL PRIORITIES.
Most clients want their wealth to impact their future family generations or charitable causes. We work to understand and define those goals. Using that understanding and knowledge of the available tools and difficulties that inter-generational wealth transfers can present, we help our clients formulate and execute a plan to achieve their goals effectively and efficiently.
ESTATE AND GIFTING FOUNDATIONS
WILLS & TRUSTS
Translate your wishes into instructions for the future.
A well drafted will methodically distributes assets to the new owners. A trust can be established by will or independently in conjunction with will provisions. Your will and trusts work together to achieve the long-term movement and management of your assets. Conversations with clients usually center on their hopes, dreams and fears for the next generation. Control and management typically create the greatest concerns for clients designing an estate plan – including protecting assets from creditors, predators, and in-laws.
Optional … if you plan for it!
With a high federal estate tax exemption, most estates have no estate tax concerns (of course Congress could always change that!) Those estates exceeding that amount face important decisions on controlling the size of the taxable estate and its ultimate treatment. Numerous strategies using trusts, family limited partnerships, charitable planning, and annual gifting can eliminate the estate tax completely. Complexity and the willingness to give up ownership heavily weigh on the estate plan design.
TITLING & BENEFICIARY DESIGNATIONS
Details are everything.
Incorrect beneficiary designations and titling can completely undo the most thought out and complex estate plan. A trust governs its own assets. The will only governs probate assets. Retirement accounts and life insurance can bypass these instruments without proper beneficiary designations. Incorrect titling can inadvertently cause gifts or unintended disinheritances, as we have seen in our practice. We review all beneficiary designations and titling to make sure it corresponds and coordinates correctly with the overall estate plan.
COLLABORATION WITH YOUR ESTATE ATTORNEY
Although we are not attorneys, we will gladly work closely with your estate attorney to ensure your financial plan is aligned with your estate and gift planning needs. If you do not have an estate attorney, and would like to engage one, we have several strategic partnerships with attorneys in the Houston area. We can certainly coordinate that engagement and will continue working with them on your behalf in the future.