What You Need to Know About High Net Worth Estate Planning

Estate planning is a complicated and often daunting task, and it can be even more so if you are a high net worth individual. Fortunately, our firm is here to help you create a comprehensive estate plan so you can rest easy knowing your hard-earned assets will stay protected. Please read on and reach out to our experienced Maryland estate planning attorneys to learn more about how we can help you through the legal process going forward:

How can a high net worth individual minimize estate taxes?

Wealth transfer taxes include estate taxes, generation-skipping taxes, and gift taxes. Federal taxes are 40% of what they are measuring with up to $5.6 million as tax-exempt. Rather simply, this means that the first $5.6 million is tax-exempt, but after that, it’s a 40% tax. Both gift taxes and estate taxes abide by this rule. Generation-skipping transfer taxes are imposed when you give property to your child or great-grandchild.

How do I plan for incapacitation?

Though nobody wants to think about the day they are no longer able to manage their finances, work, or personal affairs, however, it is always best to plan for the worst. Without a plan in place, many of your assets may come into question, and they may not be distributed as you would have intended. Do not let this happen. Some of the things you can do to prepare for incapacitation can include appointing a Durable Power of Attorney to manage your assets and a Healthcare Power of Attorney who can make key medical decisions on your behalf.

Additionally, you may create a living will, which can address whether you wish to receive life-or-death treatment, such as feeding tubes. Lastly, though perhaps most importantly, you can establish a guardianship, should you have children under the age of 18. Of course, no parent wants to imagine being unable to take care of their child, you must know that you have someone you trust raising your child, should you ever become incapacitated.

How can I avoid probate?

One of the best things a high net worth individual is to establish a living trust. Perhaps the most important benefit of creating living trusts is that since the trust is not in your name, it will generally avoid the probate process. Additionally, if you establish a revocable trust, you will be allowed to amend or revoke the trust whenever you want.

Contact our experienced Maryland firm

The attorneys at JD Katz have years of experience compassionately guiding clients in Maryland through the estate planning and administration process. Our firm also has experience with matters of elder law, business law, tax law, and litigation. For a legal team that will put your needs first, contact JD Katz today.