Estate planning: What will it do for me, my family and my business

Florida Estate Planning: The “right plan(s)” will accomplish all your goals.

There are basically two types of plans: a lifetime plan that should start now (in the next two or three months), and a death plan (your will and trust documents) that can sit in a drawer until you go to business heaven. By far, the lifetime plan is the more important of the two. Let me say it loud and clear: Never, under any circumstances, can your will and trust accomplish your lifetime goals. Even worse, standing alone, your will and trust rarely accomplish your estate planning (death) goals. Remember, your death documents do absolutely nothing until after you draw your last breath.

And the 11 most common goals in Florida Estate Planning
As you read the strategies, think about the ones that match your goals.

1) Allow us to maintain our lifestyle for as long we live [intentionally defective trust, S corporation, family limited partnership, retirement plan].
2) Control my wealth-including my business-for as long as I live [voting/nonvoting stock for business, family limited partnership].


3) Maintain my spouse’s lifestyle for as long as she lives [marital deduction, irrevocable life insurance trust, plus all strategies as shown in No. 1 above].
4) Pass all of my wealth-every dime of it-to my family, instead of losing it to the IRS [strategies shown in the other 10 items in this list].
5) Transfer my business to my business children tax-free [intentionally defective trust; never a sale].
6) Treat my non-business children fairly [family limited partnership, irrevocable life insurance trust, sub-trust, retirement plan rescue].
7) Avoid the huge (as much as 80 percent) double tax on my qualified retirement plan (profit-sharing plan, 401(k) or IRA) [sub-trust, retirement plan rescue].
8) Educate my children/grandchildren [private retirement plan].
9) Eliminate the capital gains tax [charitable remainder trust].
10) Attract and keep key employees [non qualified deferred compensation plan].
11) Establish a family foundation and make gifts to charity without reducing the value of the wealth my family will inherit [charitable lead trust and charitable remainder trust].

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