Family Wealth Transfer

“I want to control my assets while I am alive and well. If I should become disabled, I want to be cared for by people that I have chosen in a manner which I prescribe. When I die, I want to give what I own to whom I want, when I want, and in the way I want. Finally, I want to save every last dollar of professional fees, court costs, and taxes to accomplish both of those goals.”

The psychology of Wealth Transfer Planning requires that our clients explore, discover, and understand both the technical and non-technical basis for each design and plan. When we meet, we will consider a variety of planning scenarios and issues in order to design a comprehensive, tightly-integrated, trust-based estate or gift plan, our toolkit includes:

Revocable Living Trusts
A Revocable Living Trust is an estate planning document that allows you to remain in control of your personal and financial affairs while you are alive and well, and lets you decide in advance how you want to be cared for, and how you want your loved ones to be taken care of if you were to become mentally or physically disabled or die.

Irrevocable Trusts
Irrevocable Trusts are more specialized planning documents. Flexible in design, they can be used for making making gifts, maintaining separate property, achieving an income, gift or estate tax goal, protecting beneficiaries from themselves or others’ claims against assets.

Wills, Powers of Attorney
Traditionally, estate planning involves simply executing wills and general powers of attorney. By themselves, they are not enough to provide the continuity and protection each deserves and wants – a will does not protect you or your property during any period when you may be incapacitated and it requires court supervised administration, increasing the costs for your heirs. The problem with general powers of attorney is that they give your agent unlimited power over your property and, as such, may not be honored by third parties, such as your bank, brokerage, etc. that you your agent must deal with on your behalf. A will and carefully tailored powers of attorney support trust and trustee functions.

Incentive Estate Planning
Trusts are more than tax savings devices or will substitutes. Incentive estate planning involves wealth transfer through specially drafted trusts that contain instructions reflecting the love, care, personal philosophies, and concerns of parents toward their children and grandchildren.

A well-drafted incentive trust may include your personal set of instructions for passing your wealth on to your children or grandchildren while encouraging them to develop the types of skills, abilities and values that helped you acquire, maintain, and manage your wealth. For example, you may stipulate that a child-beneficiary make progress toward an educational degree or goal in order to be eligible to receive all or some of the income from their trust share.

We will help you fashion a creative and workable mechanism that gives expression to your desire for succeeding generations to excel and reach new heights of achievement in education, business, and other endeavors.

An incentive trust also serves as a first line of defense to protect a surviving spouse or children from the “helpful” advice and investment ideas of well-intentioned relatives, friends, or salespeople. There is no doubt that beneficiaries, left to their own devices, can make mistakes. A well-designed incentive trust can ensure that one mistake will not spell disaster.