Estate planning for wealthy individuals can be a complicated process. Individuals with wealth need to consider taxes, confidentially, and other matters more than people with less assets. Individuals in California and other states should keep have considerations in mind when evaluating estate planning for wealthy individuals.
Wealthy individuals need to consider estate taxes more than individuals with less money. The federal estate tax only applies to individuals with a high net worth, and depending on the size of the estate, this tax can be substantial. As a result, wealthy individuals should consider trusts and other devices in order to lessen their tax burdens.
Wealthy individuals often wish to keep the details of their estates as private as possible. However, admitting a will to probate is a public process, and anyone can often obtain a copy of a will that has been submitted to probate. As such, individuals hoping to keep their affairs private should speak with an experienced estate planning attorney who can discuss how trusts and non-probate transfers are kept out of the public eye.
Wealthy individuals need to be extra careful when selecting individuals to oversee their assets after they pass or become incompetent to govern their affairs. Money can corrupt, and individuals need to select people they trust and know will act appropriately with respect to their assets. Such fiduciaries often include family members, close personal friends, and trusted professionals.
Wealthy individuals should carefully organize their financial paperwork so that heirs can locate their assets during the estate process. The more money an individual has, the more difficult it is to keep track of assets, and finding hidden money is a costly process. An experienced estate planning attorney can help families locate assets of individuals after they pass away.