9/12/2017: 4 Times You Should Call an Estate Planning Attorney Right Away: Using Your Clients’ Entire Financial Team Improves ResultsSeptember 13, 2017
From savings-building strategies to
concerns about investments, financial
advisors like you work closely with your
clients throughout the year. As estate
planning attorneys, we typically see those
same clients far less often, but there are
numerous circumstances where
collaboration between us can help secure
the best outcomes for our mutual clients.
It may not seem intuitive to loop in an
estate planning attorney. After all, you offer
comprehensive services to your clients.
Why bring more cooks into the kitchen?
The truth is, working collaboratively with
estate planning attorneys can add
significant value to your clients’ outcomes.
Sustainable planning is a team sport
Think of a typical client of yours—let’s call her Elizabeth. Like any fiscally responsible person,
Elizabeth has put together an all-star team to help her reach her financial goals. On her team,
every player has their role. The team works best when there’s clear communication at every
play. The team can rely on each other to assist when there is an opportunity to score extra
points for Elizabeth.
4 situations to pick up the phone
We don’t need to be in touch for every decision, but here are four situations where two heads
are definitely better than one. Give us a call when you run across any of these scenarios.
1. High-growth assets
What about that high-growth asset that’s just about to pop up in value tomorrow? Maybe it’s
Condie & Adams, PLLC
611 4th Avenue, Suite A
Kirkland WA 98033
Condie & Adams, PLLC is a
values-driven law firm
committed to providing
individuals, families and small businesses
with personalized, client-centered legal
services in estate planning, probate and
trust administration, tax planning, and
related legal matters.
founder’s stock, a private placement that’s about to go public, an art collection that’s suddenly
spiked in demand, or something else entirely. Wealth can change overnight, and Elizabeth’s
financial plan must be flexible enough to allow for room to grow.
How we can help: With the help of an estate planning attorney, Elizabeth could sign onto an
incomplete non-grantor trust that would organize her state and federal tax liabilities into
separate entities. This way, her high-growth asset could be managed under the trust in a state
with favorable income tax laws. That means that when Elizabeth does decide to sell her hot new
startup or her collection of Warhols, she’s only responsible for the federal portion of the taxes
associated with the sale. This strategy could save significant state income taxes if she lives in a
high-tax jurisdiction, and that’s a big win for her.
2. Hard-to-value assets
Hard-to-value assets like commercial real estate, small business interests, and closely held
companies are another reason you might want to bring us into the loop as soon as possible.
Suppose that Elizabeth has inherited her father’s regionally-beloved ice cream franchise. It’s
hard to tell what the company’s current value is, but it’s easy to tell that the number of
franchises in different locations makes her vulnerable to heavy estate taxation and challenging
valuations going forward.
How we can help: A wide variety of planning options are available to Elizabeth depending on
her goals and her other assets. A business succession plan, a grantor retained annuity trust
(GRAT), a life insurance trust (ILIT), or several other tools could help Elizabeth incorporate this
new hard-to-value asset into her holdings. Of course, it doesn’t just have to be an inheritance
that’s hard to value. Any difficult to value assets should be considered when developing a
comprehensive financial plan and estate plan, thereby providing a big relief for Elizabeth and
those like her.
3. New homeownership
Buying a new house, be it a principal residence, vacation property, or rental property, is a huge
decision. Is she making the right choice, and is she taking smart, strategic financial steps in the
process? Thanks to Elizabeth’s career success, she’s able to purchase the type of high-value
house she’s been dreaming of for her family. But before signing for it, there’s an estate planning
tactic that could substantially benefit her down the road by removing the appreciation of the
property from her estate.
How we can help: Before the purchase is official, Elizabeth could set up a qualified personal
residence trust with the help of an estate planning attorney. This helps her in a few ways. For
one, she can name her children as beneficiaries that would inherit the property after her death,
with less gift tax cost than she’d otherwise have to deal with. She can still live in the home
during the tenure of the trust. Now Elizabeth has both a new home and a great asset lined up
for her children in the future. Even if a qualified personal residence trust isn’t a great fit, it still
makes sense for Elizabeth to discuss whether her new home should be titled in the name of her
4. Charitable giving
If Elizabeth is thinking about making a large charitable gift, you’ll want to make sure to work
with us to assess any opportunities to get the most out of Elizabeth’s generosity.
How we can help: There are numerous charitable tools available, such as charitable remainder
trusts, charitable lead trusts, gift annuities, donor advised funds, and private foundations. There
are no one-size-fits-all solutions to planned giving, but there are so many options available that
it’s almost certain that something will work for Elizabeth to make the most of her gift.
Give us a call today
We can work with you to help you strengthen your client relationships by solving these issues.
Collaborate with us to improve outcomes and generate strong, long-lasting relationships with
your clients. Give us a call today.
This newsletter is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as written advice about a
Federal tax matter. Readers should consult with their own professional advisors to evaluate or pursue tax,
accounting, financial, or legal planning strategies.
You have received this newsletter because I believe you will find its content valuable. Please feel free to Contact Me if you have any
questions about this or any matters relating to estate planning.
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Condie & Adams, PLLC 611 4th Avenue, Suite A Kirkland WA 98033This entry was posted in archive-wealthcounselor. Bookmark the permalink. ← 9/12/2017: Don’t Put Off Till Tomorrow What You Can Do Today: It’s Time to Talk with Your Family and Your Estate Planning Attorney 4/11/2018: Helping Clients Plan From the Heart: Beyond Money in Estate Planning →