If you’re thinking about the future, specifically how to build long-term financial stability for your family, estate planning gives you control of how your assets are dispersed when you’re gone.
As the saying goes, you can’t take anything with you, so making a plan in advance is a vital step in ensuring that your wishes are carried out, no matter how much your assets are worth. Protecting your legacy is one of the most thoughtful things you can do for your loved ones.
Many certified public accountants (CPAs) and attorneys offer estate planning services. But choosing one (or both) comes down to your needs and goals:
CPAs. With a wealth of tax law knowledge, a CPA can offer financial expertise, especially in the areas of estate laws and gift tax laws. They can also advise on how each estate planning tool will impact taxes and fees and can strategize to help families and individuals minimize their tax liabilities. (For example, it may be possible to eliminate estate tax by simply leaving all property to a charity.)
And because a CPA also prepares their clients’ tax returns, they’re aware of personal tax information that can require changes to estate plans and can watch for administrative estate planning issues.
Estate planning attorneys. Like a CPA, attorneys can lend their vast knowledge on wills, trusts and business succession matters, while addressing other legal implications of an estate plan. They specialize in more precise areas of concentration, such as evaluating estate planning options to benefit future generations, drafting a last will and testament, appointing guardians for minors, granting living relatives a power of attorney and preparing a living will to outline end of life decisions.
Working in tandem
When considering estate planning goals, clients may leverage the insight and experience of both professionals. A CPA who works with an attorney on their clients’ behalf can save them time, money and headaches — maximizing tax breaks while efficiently managing the distribution of their assets.
And when sharing a client, a lawyer and CPA are in regular contact, communicating any changes in their planning, adding value in their areas of specialty and improving outcomes for the client and their loved ones.
Collaboration is key
At Magone & Company, we believe that open, ongoing dialogue is critical for building wealth now — and planning what to do with it in the future. We have the tools and knowledge to help create lifelong financial stability and success for your family. Contact us for a complimentary assessment at (973) 301-2300.