Entrepreneurs and estate plans

Many successful entrepreneurs in Georgia have allowed their estate plans to lapse. This means that if the unexpected occurs, their loved ones may not be properly provided for. People who want to limit taxes and ensure that their assets are allocated properly after they perish should have a current estate plan.

Eliminating an estate tax balance is not difficult. In order to do so, however, it is necessary to relinquish control over certain assets. For example, placing specific assets in charitable trusts can zero out the taxes for an estate, but this will require transferring all control of the assets to the trust as well as the wealth associated with the assets.

Entrepreneurs should keep in mind that the purpose of creating an estate plan is to make sure that their wealth is transferred according to their preferences. The duty of a wealth manager is to assist clients with obtaining their financial goals while minimizing taxes.

A recent survey of 262 successful entrepreneurs revealed that almost 90 percent of the respondents had an estate plan, which corresponds to at least having a will in place. For almost 85 percent of those entrepreneurs, however, their estate plans were over five years old. Due to the constantly changing tax laws, estate plans that are of a certain age are less likely to be tax efficient.

An attorney who practices estate planning law could help a client decide what type of estate planning tools may be most appropriate for their assets and goals. The lawyer may assist with long-term care planning, litigate to resolve probate issues or assist with the creation of trusts.

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