Although the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 eliminated the risk of estate tax liability exposure for 99% of the estates, your estate is still at risk.
The unknown, unforeseen, unintended life and financial perils do not disappear because you ignore them.
There are far more threats to your future financial and personal health than a tax.
The menace of legal liability always looms large in our hyper-litigious environment.
The first experience many people have with the legal system is when they go through a divorce. That’s a bitter emotional and financial experience that nobody forgets.
Once lawyers get involved even the potential most amicable of legal proceedings become a bad dream if not a nightmare. Nobody gets out of a divorce proceeding without some scars.
The number of ways people conflict with each other is nearly endless. Every one of them represents an opportunity for the legal system professionals to earn their living.
Taking well-planned steps to protect your hard-earned financial assets from the ravages of the legal system is important no matter how great or little your net worth.
Have you ever thought what life would be like if you were disabled?
It is roughly a 400% greater likelihood a person will be disabled during life than dying.
Do you have a health care power of attorney in place so that somebody can make health care decisions when you can’t? Or a durable power of attorney so a pre-designated trustworthy person can deal with your ongoing financial affairs instead of a court-appointed guardian?
Private businesses, small and large, are the backbone of the American economy. It takes an awful lot of work, taking risks, and some luck to build one up.
Whether it can be successfully passed down to the next generation or sold off in an exit strategy does not happen all by itself. Transitioning a business and maximizing its value does not occur by happenchance or flukes.
Every business goes through so-called life cycles not so unlike their owners. There is a beginning, a middle-life, but when it comes to business the passing on goes to new owners.
Effectively using the techniques and legal maneuvers of estate planning goes a long way to helping business owners get the full financial reward for taking on the myriad of risks taken on in creating a productive business.
Planning for retirement is best started years earlier rather than the day before.
Most of the qualified retirement plans allowed by the government are good vehicles to build up retirement funds but are severely limited and may generate income problems if death should occur.
Fortunately, estate planners have developed innovative insurance and annuity structures which can provide significant retirement, long-term care, income tax savings, and asset protection benefits.
Going through the process of estate planning involves looking at your life, choose your personal and financial goals, and then establish the integrated strategies and tactics necessary to achieve them over your lifetime.
Consequences follow every time you make a choice, or not.
The effort made to plan your estate, in whatever is your season of life, will enable you to manage life’s risk while building wealth.
Denis Kleinfeld is known as a strategic tax and wealth protection lawyer, widely published author and creative teacher.
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