The transfer of family assets to heirs in its simplest form involves planning for how much each beneficiary will receive and when. Complexities develop for families with substantial means as these assets move through the estate and gift tax system to children, grandchildren and charity if desired. The maximum estate tax rate for high net worth families represents the highest rate in the U.S. government tax system and managing this future liability is a dominant focus of our firm.
Working with legal and accounting firms throughout the country, our consultants are constantly involved in the development of techniques to reduce or eliminate the burden of taxes and avoid forced liquidation of assets to meet estate tax liabilities at the death of family members. We accomplish this through the use of resources and processes outlined below.
Modeling The beginning point of our modeling assumes that assets can only be transferred to either your heirs, charity or to the IRS in the form of taxes. Primary objectives for most families involve minimizing confiscation of assets from taxation while insuring that family member lifestyles are maintained. Our consultants model your financial position to first identify how your current planning distributes your assets. Consistent with family objectives, design alternatives are then modeled to forecast the impact on estate taxes, income taxes, cash flow and the net result to family members.
Design The process of designing alternatives for your family in a coordinated forum, including your appointed legal and accounting advisors with their differing perspectives and expertise is most important. Your tax lawyer is essential in the design of the intricacies involved in establishing new family entities and preparing documents necessary in meeting family objectives. Your accountant is helpful in the analysis of tax results involved under different planning scenarios critical to the proper ongoing reporting requirements. Pre-existing relationships with these advisors adds important historical insight to your unique family and financial situation and in developing strategies for your review. Implementation Upon thorough review by you and your advisory team, our consultants work with you to implement the planning for your family. This involves a coordinated effort to orchestrate changes to your existing condition including changes in your asset structure, document execution and communicating how these changes will impact your reporting requirements. Our work is not complete until all items that you have directed us to implement have been completed by the advisor responsible for each task.
Monitoring Once the implementation process is complete our consultants work with you and your advisors to monitor and maintain your family planning. Changes in tax laws and family objectives, as well as new techniques developed, require our consultants to maintain a dialogue with you and your other advisors to insure that your objectives continue to be maximized. Our firm is very focused on the long-term nature of our relationships with the families that employ us and we are committed to keeping your planning up to date with periodic reviews.