For individuals and families with any significant assets, planning for the unexpected can be overwhelming – where to begin, what to include, mitigating risk as much as possible, and still accounting for use and flexibility of assets. Life can be a B.E.A.S.T. – death, creditors, market fluctuation, taxes, etc. Implementing holistic, overall planning is how you tame the B.E.A.S.T.
Have a business, or an interest in a business? What’s going to happen to that business if something happens to you?
Buy-Sell Agreements allow you to plan for future events or transactions (voluntary or involuntary) well ahead of time so that when those events/transaction arise, there’s already a course of action that just needs to be implemented. This may include predetermined valuation methods, restrictions on marketability, and provisions for the funding and tax impact of any transfers of shares/membership interests.
Planning for the disposition of your assets after you pass is fundamental to your overall plan. This includes trusts, wills, powers of attorney, and advanced directives. The primary motivation is to provide an exit plan for your family, should anything happen to you. Without a plan, the state’s default rules of intestacy will control the outcome. Estate planning allows you to streamline the succession process and keep your family out of court at a very difficult and emotional time. Failing to plan is planning to fail.
Divorce happens. Creditors can some out of nowhere, whether financial or personal injury creditors. No one plans to get into these troubling scenarios, but they can plan how to protect their assets from creditors should they get in trouble in the future. Utilizing entities or irrevocable trusts to hold and protect your assets can best allow you to use and protect your assets during your lifetime, from divorce or creditors.
Enabling key employees or family members to take over the management of your assets or business in the event of your death or disability can be the different between success and failure. Maybe your spouse or child is not in the position, or does not have the experience, to pick up your business/investments/assets and manage them, but you have a key employee or relative who is – give them special and limited authority to do what’s needed. If you want your business to outlive you, you must have this planning in place.
Generating income and passing on wealth can have significant tax implications for you and your loved ones. Let’s get your financial team (Lawyer, CPA, and Financial Advisor) all on the same page to protect your assets while also minimizing income, capital gains, and estate taxes. Planning ahead and help preserve your wealth for retirement and for future generations.
Comprehensive planning is an involved process – it’s best to get started as soon as possible. If you or someone you know could benefit from comprehensive planning, please contact me.
Paul A. Yokabitus