Most often the answer to this question is simple - yes. This is because Estate Planning (or Wealth Strategies Planning) is about much more than "the money". Ultimately, it is about people, yourself, your loved ones; it is about security and prosperity.
Two early pioneers in the field of Estate Planning summarized the most common Estate Planning goals of their clients as follows:
"I would like to give my property to whom I want, in precisely the way I want. Further, I wish my beneficiaries to receive my property when I wish them to receive it.
"But, and this is very important to me, I want to save every last tax dollar, both state and federal, in accomplishing my objectives. Oh yes, I also want to avoid, or at the least reduce, attorneys' fees and court costs.
"Finally, I don't want myself or my family involved in a lot of red tape that prevents my objectives from being accomplished quickly." (Robert A. Esperti & Renno L. Peterson).
There is not an income threshold at which Estate Planning does or does not make sense. While the particular planning strategies involved may differ based upon your goals and the complexity of your family dynamics and assets, but proper planning remains important. We offer three processes to select from:
The first, is our Estate Planning Process, which is the right process for very many of our clients. This is designed for many who are even considered rich these days (as in being a millionaire), as well as those of very modest wealth. These clients have worked hard for what they have, and are often keenly sensitive to the risk of either outliving their assets or failing to maintain their autonomy and dignity as they age. They also hope to arrange their affairs so their remaining assets can be distributed to their beneficiaries after they pass with the least fess and complexity as possible. A properly designed Estate Plan will address these priorities. If you believe the Estate Planning Process may be right for you, we invite you to schedule an Introductory Call.
The second, is our Wealth Strategy Planning Process, which is designed for those who have accumulated or inherited a bit more, and that additional wealth has resulted in more complexity in their lives than most other families. For these, problems relating to income and death taxes and the risk of harming beneficiaries by passing large amounts of wealth to them become considerable. It also becomes critically important that the planning process allows for the expertise of each of the clients' trusted advisors. For these, a Comprehensive and Integrated Wealth Strategy Plan is appropriate. If you believe the Wealth Strategy Planning Process may be right for you, we invite you to schedule an Introductory Call and Visit.
Finally, there is our Business Exit Planning Process, which is designed for those who own a lower middle market business. (Generally speaking, a lower middle market business will have annual sales of between $5 million and $125 million). The Business Exit Planning Process may or may not actually result in a sale of the business; but these families realize that sooner or later they will exit from their business. The Business Exit Planning Process focuses on critical aspects of Business preservation and transition, as well as ongoing Family Governance. If you believe our Business Exit Planning Process may be right for you, we invite you to either attend an upcoming Exit Planning Briefing or for more privacy schedule an Initial Visit.
In conclusion, Estate Planning is right for virtually everyone because whether one has a modest or sizable estate, there are dangers, opportunities, and strengths that are important to them and their families. We have organized three different processes (the Estate Planning Process, the Wealth Strategy Planning Process, and the Business Exit Planning Process) corresponding to each of them.