Tax and Estate Planning Coordination
As ongoing stewards of your wealth, it’s about making sure you make the right decisions to maximize it. For you. And for your heirs.
Right decisions are not limited to investments. And when you have serious money, you need more help. You’ve got more to lose.
Making sure you understand and implement the right choices is something few investors do. And it needs to be done proactively. It means thinking ahead about what is likely to happen and making decisions today that affect tomorrow’s outcome.
Waiting only puts your wealth at risk.
Because we have seen so many investors make mistakes (that could have been avoided), we take a different approach.
The Importance of Acting Now, Not Later
The decisions you make today affect tomorrow’s outcome. With so many choices, it seems impossible to put it all together. As an investment advisor we consider all the variables impacting your ability to reach your goals. In a world with many variables we understand we need to look at them all. This means tax, estate and legacy, and investment issues are all joined at the hip.
Most investors address these in isolation. This causes small problems today to morph into much larger problems tomorrow.
Because we want you to be worry-free, we strive to avoid this by:
- Gaining an in-depth understanding of your estate planning needs (including the need for permanent or revocable trusts)
- Considering the real wealth impact of tax deferral and gains harvesting on income tax smoothing (don’t just optimize for taxes!)
- Coordinating all investment related issues with your tax preparer (to avoid unnecessary surprises)
- Coordinating all estate-related issues with attorneys, beneficiaries and other parties as needed to make sure they are correctly implemented!
- Over-communicating to avoid duplicated work
- Eliminating unnecessary worries and unexpected negative surprises
Imagine a football team trying to win games with more than one Head Coach. It can’t work. It’s the same with a financial planning and investment strategy. If your investment advisor, accountant, and estate attorney have separate strategies it will never work.
By gaining a complete understanding of your goals, and how to get there, we help you make sure they are filled. And we help to make sure your other professionals (like attorneys and accountants) understand this.
Because we have been honing these skills since 2004, we have a lot of stories. In many cases we helped our clients build more wealth by implementing smart tax strategies. For example, at the end of the year we have helped harvest long-term gains for clients without paying higher income taxes. In other cases, it was accomplished through smart estate strategies. For some clients, this can be accomplished with simple beneficiary designations. And we find revocable trusts highly useful for passing real property assets. Others need more sophisticated permanent trust solutions. Because we have seen the consequence of real world mistakes (as estates are handed to heirs and after), we leverage our experience to help our clients make the right choices, proactively.
Unfortunately, we also have a lot of stories about new clients who came to us who did not implement the right strategies. But we do our best to clean up after mistakes. Like the many clients we see whose investment ’advisor’ sold them annuities (and whose unknowing accountants agreed they made a lot of sense). We often help make sure heirs don’t make the same mistakes their parents did.
Another thing investors need to keep in mind is that there are a lot of unscrupulous insurance salesmen wooing investors under the guise of “free social security planning” or “free income tax review.” BEWARE. We often see clients go to those “reviews” ending up with high expense insurance contracts they can’t get out of for over a decade.
Everything You Need, Holistically Coordinated
Full-service ongoing investment advisory services are necessary to make sure we not only set you on the right path, but also get you there. It’s how we get rid of problems you just can’t even see coming yet!
Remember, investment management and financial planning (including tax and estate) are joined at the hip. Some of the things we help our clients do include:
- Asset protection strategies (usually avoiding using insurance)
- Proactive tax planning strategies
- College and education planning
- Family budget and cash flow planning
- Estate planning
- How and when to get rid of debt and be mortgage-free
- Ongoing attention from a real person (who cares about you and your family)
After a record bull market in stocks and bonds, investors need to take advantage of every opportunity. As life-long learners, we leverage our experience to think outside the box and help our clients deliver the returns they need to accomplish their goals. We have created a system we believe will do so, whatever the future holds.