Many entrepreneurs have complicated financial situations and may need both a CPA and an experienced estate planning attorney involved in the process of creating an estate plan. The main reason for including the CPA is that many entrepreneurs have business interests spread out over several different entities. The CPA will be familiar with the whole financial picture and can provide a better context to dive into discussing how those assets will be distributed upon death, how to plan better for incapacity and provide information to plan for retirement via business succession planning.
Once the team of advisors have a clear understanding of the financial picture, the entrepreneur needs to provide insights into his or her legacy goals. Leaving behind a legacy may have to do with more than assets and wealth for entrepreneurs. Some have goals related to the continuation of the busines and maintaining its reputation. Others have charitable and philanthropic goals in mind.
Most entrepreneurs tend to leave their legacy to some combination of the future of the business, family, long-term business partners and charitable interests. Getting absolutely clear about who and what will benefit steers the rest of the discussion around how to implement a plan that will achieve the goals. There are so many tools and strategies that can be used such as living trusts, charitable remainder trusts, spousal lifetime access trusts and charitable lead annuity trusts. Each type of trust has a specific strategy behind it.
Entrepreneurs need a myriad of tools including emergency business plans, business succession plans and personal estate planning that need to harmoniously blend to accomplish all legacy goals. Start building your team of trusted advisors today. At a minimum you should have your CPA collaborating with your estate planning attorney. If you have a large investment portfolio, you may also want a financial advisor to participate in the process. You may also need a real estate advisor, insurance specialist and philanthropic advisor. Start by contacting the experienced estate planning attorneys at Stouffer Legal in the Greater Baltimore area. You can schedule an appointment by calling us at (443) 470-3599 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org