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Estate Planning With High-Value or Complex Assets

Posted on in Estate Planning Blog

chicago estate planning lawyerWhile estate planning is important for everyone, it is especially so for high-net-worth individuals. If you own high-value or complex assets, a number of estate planning tools are available to ensure that your wealth is distributed according to your wishes while minimizing your Illinois Estate and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax liability. The greater the value of your estate, the greater the potential liabilities. An experienced attorney can craft an estate plan designed to preserve your wealth. 

Minimizing Taxes During Estate Distribution

Generally, trusts are favored over wills. Trusts serve one very important purpose-- avoiding probate. Probate can be costly and complicated, and it significantly diminishes your estate’s value. There are two types of trusts: revocable and irrevocable. Often, both are used to hold different assets and to serve different purposes. 

A revocable trust allows you to continue making modifications to it throughout your life. You can move assets in and out of a revocable trust. Any wealth contained in a revocable trust will not be subject to probate. 

An irrevocable trust cannot be modified, but it does offer certain advantages. When you place money or other assets into an irrevocable trust, they become the legal property of the trust. This protects your assets from creditors, court judgments, and other liabilities. Also, because you no longer own the assets contained in an irrevocable trust, they are not counted as part of your estate and are not subject to any estate taxes. 

Another estate planning tool your attorney may suggest is a Roth IRA. The advantage of a Roth IRA over other types of retirement accounts is that you do not have to take any money out of a Roth IRA during your lifetime, so every dollar in your Roth IRA can be passed to your beneficiaries. Your beneficiaries can then withdraw money from the Roth IRA without having to pay any taxes on it. 

Preserving Your Business

The sooner you begin planning for business succession, the more seamless the transition will be. If you own a business, do not wait to begin preparing for its future! You worked hard to make your business successful-- an attorney can help you make a plan to ensure continued success. 

Choosing an Executor

While many people choose a trusted family member or friend as their executor, when you own high-value or complex assets a professional executor may be more appropriate. Serving as executor for a complex, high-value estate can be an extremely involved and time-consuming process. Appointing a professional executor both avoids placing a large burden on a loved one and greatly reduces the chance of a costly mistake. 

Contact an Estate Planning Attorney Today! 

A. Traub & Associates understands the complexities of high-value estates and the importance of preserving your wealth. If you are in Illinois and are ready to begin planning your estate, reach out to our Lombard Estate Planning Attorneys today! Call [[phone1Lombard Est]] to schedule a confidential consultation. 

 

Source:

https://www.illinoistreasurer.gov/Individuals/Estate_Tax

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