What estate planning mistakes should the ultra-wealthy avoid?

| May 20, 2019 | Estate Law |

When it comes to money management, you may have done everything right up to this point in your life. However, that does not mean you are immune from making the same common mistakes other ultra-wealthy individuals make. Because estate and tax planning become increasingly complex the more wealth one accrues, it is important to work with a wealth advisor when preparing your Texas legacy, as an advisor can help you avoid costly mistakes. SunTrust details a few such mistakes wealthy individuals make.

The first such mistake is hiding illiquid assets. For instance, you may consider keeping valuable antiques, artwork and jewelry out of your will under the assumption that said items will make their way to appropriate heirs. Doing this is not a good idea. If you name one of your children or heirs as the executor of your estate, and if you fail to properly report all your assets, you are essentially asking your loved one to violate the law.

Another mistake wealthy individuals make is gifting their heirs highly appreciated assets. If you gift an heir, say, property you purchased for $50,000 and said property is now worth $300,000, you subject the recipient to capital gains taxes. However, if you pass on the appreciated item through your estate, your beneficiary would not have to pay taxes on capital gains.

A third mistake SunTrust warns against making is treating your personal and legacy assets as one and the same. For instance, if you have $1 million, it makes sense to reduce your portfolio risk as you enter retirement. However, if you have $10 million, you may want to consider separating your assets into two categories: one for you to use throughout retirement and one to transfer to your heirs. Since you will not need that second pool during your retirement, you can safely maintain an investment portfolio with a higher risk.

This article is for educational purposes only. You should not use it as legal advice.