Accumulating wealth and protecting wealth are two estate planning goals shared by most individuals, regardless of the size of their estate. If you are searching for ways to increase your estate to leave a substantial legacy to your heirs, look at some of the estate planning secrets wealthy individuals use as they develop and execute a comprehensive estate plan. After reading about these secrets, talk to a Maryland estate planning attorney about creating an estate plan for yourself.
Secret Number One: Asset Protection
Wealthy individuals understand the best ways to protect their assets from creditors, courts, and other parties. Asset protection may begin by setting up corporations and family partnerships to protect personal assets being taken involuntarily to satisfy business liabilities. It also may include transferring personal assets into Trusts allowing you to maintain control over your property and receive income and benefits from the property within the trust.
Secret Number Two: Avoid Probate
Wealthy individuals attempt to reduce the size of their probate estate to reduce the cost, publicity and hassle to their heirs. Revocable Living Trusts have the benefit of not being included in your probate estate. Investing in assets that pass directly to beneficiaries outside of probate such as life insurance or retirement accounts is another way to avoid probate. Other ways to avoid probate include titling property as joint owners with right of survivorship, using trusts to hold property, and maximizing annual and lifetime gift exemptions.
Secret Number Three: Trust Centered Estate Plans
High-net-worth individuals utilize a variety of trust agreements to hold title to the property so that it does not pass through probate or generate additional taxes for themselves or their heirs. Trusts can hold a variety of assets, including life insurance policies and annuities.
Specialized trusts may also be useful for protecting certain retirement accounts, financial accounts, and business interests, if the trust is created and funded correctly. These trust agreements require the assistance of a highly experienced Maryland estate planning attorney to ensure the trusts meet all legal requirements for holding the property.
Secret Number Four: Create an Exceptional Team of Financial and Estate Professionals
Most wealthy individuals hire highly skilled, experienced financial experts, retirement planners, and estate planning attorneys to help them create a plan that maximizes protection while minimizing cost and risk. Depending on your situation, you may not need a large collaborative team of professionals. Begin by scheduling a meeting with an estate planning lawyer in Maryland.
A Maryland estate planning attorney can review your current financial situation, help you identify your goals, review your needs, and provide legal advice regarding the estate planning options available to you. Your estate planning attorney can also provide guidance about whether you need additional tax, legal, or financial professionals to collaborate with your estate planning attorney to optimize the results of your estate plan.
Contact Thienel Law today to schedule a time to review your estate plan soon. Maryland estate-planning lawyer Steve Thienel is dedicated to assisting clients in Maryland, Virginia, and throughout the DC Metro area.