Estate planning is more than assigning assets upon death, especially for high-net-worth individuals.1 It involves managing wealth during one's lifetime and navigating a multifaceted process. It can be quite complex, requiring expertise from a number of professionals with complementary roles. This team approach brings financial advisors together with estate planners and estate attorneys to provide a holistic or comprehensive approach we like to call integrated estate planning.
Integrated estate planning requires detailed cooperation among these professionals, with each contributing their distinct expertise. This type of coordinated planning is essential for investors as it provides a comprehensive approach to wealth management, asset protection, and legacy planning, with the focus on coordinating financial and legal affairs, increasing tax efficiencies, and improving alignment with the investor’s long-term goals.
The Who’s Who of Integrated Estate Planning
Estate Planners: Estate planners look at your entire financial landscape and family situation. They work with you to create an estate plan that aligns with your objectives, considering factors such as tax implications, potential risks, anticipated future expenses, and your personal wishes, aiming to facilitate a smooth transition of your assets to your heirs.2
Financial Advisors: Financial advisors have a broad understanding of the financial markets and can provide guidance on investments, retirement planning, and other financial matters, keeping an eye on your long-term goals. They strive to help you achieve your financial goals and work towards growing your wealth over time, even amidst changing economic conditions.3
Estate Attorneys: Estate attorneys focus on the legal elements necessary for your estate plan. They draft vital documents like wills, trusts, and powers of attorney, forming the foundation of your estate plan and helping navigate the intricacies of estate taxes and other legal matters.4
Advantages of Integrated Estate Planning
Unified Strategies: When these professionals collaborate, they can develop more tailored, comprehensive, and potentially effective strategies. This integrated approach aims to ensure all aspects of your financial and legal situation are considered.
Effective Asset Management: Aligning your asset titling and investment strategies with your estate plan is crucial. Proper coordination between your financial advisor and estate planner seeks to optimize your wealth management, aiming to grow assets while considering tax implications, and working towards distributing assets according to your wishes.
Addressing Complexities: High-net-worth individuals often face intricate financial and legal needs. Through collaboration, these professionals can develop and implement strategies to address these unique challenges.
Regular Updates: Laws and personal circumstances change, as do financial goals. Regular joint reviews of your estate plan, especially following significant life events or legal changes, aim to ensure your plan remains current and continues to align with your evolving needs. The more eyes looking out for updates, the better.
Integrated Planning Examples
Business Succession: For business owners, planning for the transition of their business can be complex. Integrated planning seeks to help craft a successful strategy considering tax implications, financial stability, business valuation, and the owner's objectives.
Philanthropy: High-net-worth individuals often wish to contribute significantly to their community or a cause they care about. Integrated planning works towards ensuring that charitable contributions are made in a tax-efficient manner and align with the donor's financial and philanthropic goals.
Real Estate Holdings: For those with substantial real estate assets, integrated planning can be invaluable. Your team can aim to create strategies that optimize tax benefits and seamless asset transfer, advise on placing real estate into trusts, and help time property sales within your overall estate plan. Efficient management of your properties can work towards leaving a well-organized legacy.
Integrated estate planning—taking a team approach—is a powerful concept when it comes to helping high-net-worth individuals manage and protect their wealth. By bringing together the skills of estate planners, financial advisors, and estate attorneys, you have the opportunity to develop a cohesive and strategic plan tailored to your unique situation. This approach not only seeks to help manage your assets and potentially grow your wealth but works towards ensuring your legacy is preserved and passed on according to your wishes. Consider the potential benefits of an integrated approach to estate planning and make sure to discuss it with your financial advisor.
Disclosure: This information is for educational and informative purposes and shall not be considered a specific recommendation. Readers are advised to speak with their advisor at JL Bainbridge to determine their specific recommendations that meet their investment objectives and to review their portfolios. The material being provided is thought to be accurate. However, the information is compiled from multiple resources and may become outdated or otherwise rendered incorrect by new research or corrections without notice. J.L. Bainbridge & Co., Inc., is not a broker dealer and does not offer tax or legal advice. Please consult your tax or legal advisor for assistance regarding your individual situation. It should neither be assumed that future results will be as profitable or that a loss could not be incurred. For more information related to our firm, please see our disclosure brochures at jlbainbridge.com and https://adviserinfo.sec.gov/firm/summary/108058.