The plain fact is you only know what you know. Put another way, no matter how smart you are, your knowledge is limited. None of us knows it all. The trick is to know what you don’t know and be able to find a person with the expertise you lack.
The above truism applies to every field where knowledge is the bedrock of the job description. When it comes to the profession of estate planning (wealth transfer, business succession and related areas) this truism, combined with the culture of the profession, makes for dangerous bedfellows. Why? Well, professionals in the estate planning field – whether a CPA, lawyer or others – don’t share clients. What’s the result? You are held captive, based on the limited knowledge of your chosen advisor.
Pick an advisor, say the smartest estate planning lawyer (let’s call him Ben) in your county at the biggest and best law firm in your state. There are many wonderful lawyers in this country who do their best to help their clients. But hey, Ben’s human. Your estate plan is limited to Ben’s knowledge and the knowledge contained within this law firm. One thing is for sure: Ben will not share you with another law office.
Why is this knowledge/culture thing so important? Our office works on about 100 estate plans every year. More than half are second opinions on estate plans completed by the “best law firm in town.” Every law firm we have ever worked with or whose work we have reviewed for a second opinion has the same target: reduce the client’s estate tax.
Our target is to pass all of your wealth to your family, intact! For example, if you are worth $8 million (substitute your own numbers) your estate tax liability is about $3 million.
Sorry, but when you get hit by the final bus, you are worth only $5 million (after the IRS takes $3 million of your hard-earned dollars). You don’t have to put up with such lousy results. If your estate plan is done properly, the entire $8 million will go to your family (all taxes, if any, paid in full.) You will not lose one cent of that $3 million to the IRS.
Stop, just for a moment, and write down your estimated wealth and potential estate tax burden. The fact is, we have developed a system that is designed to get all your wealth – including your business – to your family, estate tax-free. And for as long as you are alive, you can have absolute control of all your assets – including your business. Simply put: eliminate your estate tax burden and keep control for life.
Yes, we can do it every time. Whether you are young or old. Single or married. Insurable or uninsurable. How do we do it? One thing for sure; we are not the smartest cats in the kingdom. Fact is, we learned long ago that no single expert can get the job done alone.
Instead, we are part of a national network of experts (lawyers, CPAs, insurance consultants and business appraisers) with the many facets (tax law, planning, documentation, tax-free environments, etc.) of talent required to do estate planning, wealth transfer and related disciplines. Best of all, we rarely do research. Why? A phone call or fax away is an expert who knows the right answer, based on years of practical experience.
Okay, let’s make a deal. Experience has proven that the more the readers of this column learn, the more likely they are to win the tax game. We (your author and his network of experts) want to learn more about you (our readers).
So here’s the deal. Go to my Web site, taxsecretsofthewealthy.com. There’s a ton of tax-saving stuff to learn (about estate planning, wealth transfer, business succession and related areas). Tell your own professional advisors to take a look, too.
But wait. There’s more. How will we learn about you? While you’re on the home page of the Web site, click on, “Do you have a burning problem or question?” You’ll see a short form. Fill it out. Let it all hang out: Your problems, questions, concerns. We’ll respond quickly by phone or e-mail. Remember, next time you’re on the Web, go to taxsecretsofthewealthy.com.
Irv Blackman is a certified public accountant who lives part-time on Marco Island and specializes in estate planning, business succession and asset protection. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 417-9732. His Web site is taxsecretsofthewealthy.com.