Estate Planning for Wealth Preservation
In order to help you maximize wealth transfer and minimize taxes, some of the following estate planning vehicles may be useful:
Special Needs Trust – Planning for the care of children with special needs is of critical importance to ensure they are cared for if something should happen to you. A well-designed estate plan can provide peace of mind to a parent with a special needs child. A special needs trust allows parents, grandparents, or guardians to name an appropriate guardian(s) for their child, appoint an appropriate trustee(s) to manage the trust assets and oversee the child’s finances, and outline instructions for their child’s education, housing, and other needs. Also, a special needs trust allows you to provide for the support and care of a child without affecting the child’s eligibility for aid from the government.
Charitable Remainder Trust - Transfer of property to a charitable remainder trust allows you to retain an income stream from the property transferred while receiving a charitable contribution income tax deduction and avoiding capital gains tax.
Annual Gift Tax Exclusion – Planning to maximize your annual gift tax exclusion without gift or estate tax, thus maximizing wealth transfer and minimizing taxes. Often, the annual gift tax exclusion can be used in combination with a family limited partnership or other estate planning vehicles.
Family Limited Partnership – A family limited partnership (FLP) is actually a separate entity that can be used to accomplish all of the following: (1) Reduce the value of property for estate tax purposes; (2) Provide asset protection for property that is contributed to and held by the family limited partnership; (3) provide asset protection from creditors of the limited partners, (4) allow for gifts of limited partnership interest to children to facilitate wealth transfer.
Domestic Asset Protection Trusts - Traditionally in the United States, the creator of an irrevocable trust could not be a beneficiary of the irrevocable trust and still gain protection from creditors. In the past, one would have to establish an irrevocable trust offshore to get protection against creditors and also be a beneficiary. Establishing trusts offshore can be very expensive. However, recently several states have passed laws that allow “domestic asset protection trusts”. Establishing these trusts allows for the creator of the trust to be a beneficiary and still maintain protection from creditors. The one catch is that distributions from the trust must be solely at the discretion of an independent trustee. Also, assets cannot be protected if the trust was formed to defraud or stall collection by creditors.
Contact David C. Hawkes, Esq. for a free and confidential consultation to determine if any of these complex estate planning vehicles could help you maximize your wealth transfer while minimizing estate and other taxes.