Outside of the specific practice areas of estate planning, elder law planning and tax planning, our clients look to us as a source of information for general financial planning and asset protection. As attorneys, we do not give any investment advice nor do we claim any investment expertise. However, we do have the skills and knowledge to explain and create appropriate vehicles through which you can make various investments. To assist you in meeting your financial goals, our attorneys and staff work as part of a team that includes your accountant, investment advisor and insurance advisor.
Financing a college education has become a family affair. Grandparents look to assist parents, and parents involve children in the role financing plays in the college selection process. Many tax deferred vehicles have been created to assist with college savings, such as 529 Plans, Educational IRA's and the Hope Credit. Together with these newer vehicles are more traditional college savings options, such as trusts and Uniform Transfer to Minor's Accounts. We are able to help our clients objectively evaluate the benefits and restrictions of different college savings vehicles, and incorporate a client's college savings goals into an overall asset protection and gifting strategy.
Regardless of other savings needs, you cannot afford to overlook the need to plan for your own retirement. As part of a comprehensive estate plan, we assist our clients who have employer sponsored benefits, such as pension plans and 401k plans, in making the appropriate elections and beneficiary designations to meet their goals. For those clients who can demand more from their retirement plan, such as business owners and key employees, we help them find ways to maximize their retirement dollars through options such as qualified plans, deferred compensation, split-dollar life insurance, and business liquidation plans.
Once a person has accumulated savings and wealth, a fundamental financial planning priority is to protect assets from creditors. This is of particular importance to entrepreneurs, small business owners, and professionals, such as doctors, lawyers and accountants. Asset protection should also be a priority for anyone who transfers assets to children or grandchildren. Unless advance planning is done, assets given away become at risk to the tranferee's creditors, such as a former spouse or business partner. We assist our clients in developing true asset protection strategies that are tailored to their individual situation, incorporate devices such as limited liability companies and on-shore and off-shore trusts, and steer clear of fraudulent transfer issues and illegal tax schemes.
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