A rich man’s guide to estate planning

INHERITANCE TAX?

And so you’re a high net worth individual? What do you do to keep your wealth intact?

If you are in a jurisdiction with inheritance tax regulations, estate planning is highly rewarding.

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Estate Planning takes years to complete though. The purpose of estate planning is to pass on your estate to the next generation at minimal tax and inherent costs.

It’s not as simple as one thinks. Life insurance is not the one and all solution as most insurance agents would say, although he is considered a strong part of the team. Because he will create the liquid CASH you will eventually need.

This long and tedious activity involves a team which consists of yourself as the estate owner, your lawyer, banker, investment manager, accountant trustee if needed and of course your life insurance consultant.

Therefore given the above team, it is not surprising that it takes years and years to complete.

Why? On top of your professional team, whilst sorting out your estate, numerous family and business events and variables and changes come into play. One example is in changes in your letter of wishes or trust plan as time unfolds. Happy and sad situations are intermixed into this endless and challenging planning. The truth is it’s always a work in progress until the rich guy simply kicks the bucket…

In my experience, More often, not completed.

To escape estate (inheritance) tax, some likely scenarios:

The rich guy buys properties or invests abroad. The worse one can do is to get into a bigger tax trap. Ignorance is not bliss after all. He gets to suffer more.
For confidentiality, he deposits money offshore without the knowledge of his family.
Out of sheer trust, he purchases properties in another’s name.
Buys properties in the name of his children with no evidence of affordability to buy. The tax man likes this very much.
Appoints nominees in his behalf. Nominees are known to eventually disappear somehow.
Whilst Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland, Bermuda, Jersey, are some good tax free jurisdictions, one has to be well advised by competent lawyers of each jurisdiction. It’s not as simple as you think. Invest in a good lawyer please. Don’t scrimp.

In the end, as mentioned one is not able to complete his great plan. To mind the gap, I highly suggest you contact your life insurance agent.

As I always say, at your death bed, your lawyer, accountant and banker will compute your inheritance tax duties and ask you to pay up. On top, these professionals will now charge you their hefty fees for an incomplete job.

It doesn’t stop there. Your creditors will line up as well!

BUT…

your insurance man will create for you the instant CASH you need to safeguard your estate.

Now, tell me who’s the smartest in your team?

Now you can take a pick:

Offshore or domestic insurance?

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