You’ve worked hard your whole life to provide for your family and make your loved ones more secure. Without advanced estate planning strategies, much of the significant assets you have accumulated may end up with the IRS and state taxing authorities.
Our firm regularly assists successful families with such sophisticated planning strategies as Family Limited Liability Companies, Personal Trusts, Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts and a wide range of charitable gifting techniques to reduce Federal Estate Taxes, Gift Taxes and Generation Skipping Transfer Taxes.
Family Limited Liability Company
A Family Limited Liability Company is a form of a limited partnership among members of a family. The main advantages of forming and funding a Family Limited Liability Company involve estate and gift tax savings and asset protection. A Family LLC also allows you to retain control over the transferred assets while enjoying these advantages.
Once the Family LLC is established and your assets are transferred to it, you can make gifts of limited interests to your children or other beneficiaries. This accomplishes several different estate planning objectives simultaneously.
Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
There is a common misconception that life insurance proceeds are not subject to Federal Estate Taxes. While the proceeds are received by your loved ones free of any income taxes, they are countable as part of your taxable estate and therefore your loved ones can lose about half of its value to estate taxes.
An Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust is created specifically for the purpose of owning your life insurance policy. A properly established and administered trust holds the policy outside of your estate and keeps the proceeds from being taxable to your estate. The proceeds from the insurance policy can then be used to provide your estate with the liquidity to pay estate taxes, pay off debts, pay final expenses and provide income to a surviving spouse or children. The ILIT will be the policy owner and beneficiary. Once your trust is established, you use your annual gift tax exclusion to make cash gifts to your trust. Your beneficiaries forgo the present gift (in lieu of the future proceeds) and the trustee uses the remaining gift to pay the premium on the life insurance policy.
There are many options available when setting up an ILIT. For example, ILITs can be structured to provide income to a surviving spouse with the remainder going to your children from a previous marriage. You can also provide for distribution of a limited amount of the insurance proceeds over a period of time to a financially irresponsible child.
Our firm is dedicated to helping clients make educated, informed decisions about their assets and will work with you and your team of financial advisors and CPAs to implement a highly sophisticated estate plan.