Estate planning is vital for all adults but essential for those with a high net worth. People with substantial assets tend to encounter more complications when creating their estate plans because they have more items to divest. Understanding what strategies are available to high-net-worth individuals in Arizona can help protect what you have worked for and ensure your wishes are honored.
Recognizing the Specific Needs of High-Net-Worth Individuals
High-net-worth individuals have investable assets of $1 million or more, excluding their primary residence. This includes small business owners who have built significant companies, wealthy executives with substantial salaries and stock options, and retirees with significant savings. These individuals need to protect complex assets like businesses, real estate, and investments. They require customized strategies to minimize estate taxes and contingency plans if they become incapacitated or disabled.
Strategies for High-Net-Worth Estate Planning
Your attorney may suggest several tools when crafting your high-net-worth estate plan, such as:
- Establishing a trust – Various trusts can give you a flexible way to protect your assets and distribute your wealth, both during your lifetime and after you pass away.
- Asset protection – An estate planning attorney can explore all legal ways to help you shield substantial assets from creditors and lawsuits.
- Minimizing taxes – This can be accomplished through philanthropic giving, such as donating to charities through donor-advised funds, using charitable remainder trusts to provide income and tax benefits, and gifting assets to reduce the size of the taxable estate.
- Cash-value life insurance – Cash-value life insurance is a permanent policy that sets aside a portion of your paid premiums like a tax-deferred savings account. This provides liquidity to pay estate taxes and a guaranteed death benefit for beneficiaries.
- Powers of attorney – A financial power of attorney authorizes an agent of your choosing to manage your finances if you become incapacitated through an injury or illness.
- Fixed index annuities – Setting up a fixed index annuity can provide lifetime income and avoid stock market risk. The death benefit passes directly to beneficiaries.
Making smart estate planning decisions can also help avoid probate in Arizona, which can be time-consuming and costly.
Long-Term Considerations for the Wealthy
When creating an estate plan, affluent individuals should carefully consider their potential requirements for long-term care, incapacity, and end-of-life decision-making. Because Arizona is a popular retirement destination, any plan should also factor in financing nursing home or assisted living costs.
An estate planning attorney will address end-of-life decisions with respect and clarity by helping you:
- Specify advanced directives and end-of-life healthcare wishes
- Identify someone you trust for a healthcare power of attorney
- Communicate funeral and burial preferences
Contact Pennington Law, PLLC, Today for Help With Your Estate Plan
If you need to create or modify your estate plan to protect your significant assets, you shouldn’t rely on just any law firm. You need a legal team with experience handling high-net-worth cases. The estate planning attorneys at Pennington Law, PLLC, help wealthy individuals create comprehensive retirement strategies. Contact us today for a free consultation.