(Source: Forbes): Russ Alan Prince – Estate planning is a requirement for everyone, including Entrepreneurs, who want to make certain that their loved ones are adequately provided for. It is essential for those individuals who wish to control the disposition of their assets after their death and minimize the tax bite imposed by both state and federal governments.
“It is quite possible to zero out all estate taxes. However, such approaches require the formal abrogation of control over selected assets,” says Frank Seneco, president of the advanced planning boutique, Seneco & Associates. “In many cases the use of charitable trusts, for example, makes it possible to eliminate all estate taxes, but the result of such an approach is the transfer of not only wealth but direct control of the assets in question.”
It is important to remember the goal of estate planning is to transfer your wealth in accordance with your wishes. Tax mitigation, while often very important, is not always a critical motivation. The first concern you have is the disposition of your assets, as you would like. The role of your wealth manager is to make it possible for you to achieve your desired agenda and be as tax efficient as possible at the same time.
According to John Bowen, founder of AESNation and author of Becoming Seriously Wealthy, “Based on a survey of 262 successful entrepreneurs, nearly nine out of ten of them have an estate plan, which is defined as having at a minimum a will. However, the estate plans for about 85% of these entrepreneurs are more than five years old. Because of continual changes in the tax laws, estate plans more than a few years old are likely to fail to take maximum advantage of available opportunities.”
This tells us that for a sizable number of successful entrepreneurs, their estate plans are likely outdated. In order to attain the greatest benefits from estate planning, you need to stay on top of the matter and revise your estate plans when appropriate.