On December 11, 2014, I was a panelist at the YPO Washington, D.C./Baltimore Chapter, where we discussed estate tax and business succession issues. YPO is an association of owners and Presidents of closely held businesses. Below is a list of questions we answered during the discussion.
EP Panelist Questions:
1. Fundamentally, what are some of the questions one should ask themselves when they are starting to think about estate planning? (Basic Building blocks?)
2. What are some of the easiest ways to avoid estate taxes all together?
3. Who typically serves as a trustee?
4. If I’m incapacitated, who takes over?
5. Why do I need a Revocable Trust, and why not just a will?
6. What are some of the advantages of lifetime gifting?
a. If I transfer assets by a gift, do I lose control of them?
7. Virginia, Maryland, DC… What are the differences? What jurisdiction may be better in regards to general estate planning and taxation?
8. How do I value what may be my largest asset, my business?
a. What is the consequence if I don’t get it properly valued?
b. How do I value other illiquid assets?
c. Are there assets that often go overlooked, forgotten?
9. I am concerned that my kid’s inheritance may end up with my son’s ex-wife… How do I prevent these types of scenarios from happening?
10. What is the essence of a Dynasty Trust, and what are the advantages?
11. Are there methods or incentives in a trust for my children so that they don’t blow the money?
12. Knowing what you know as an EP specialist, what would keep you up at night if you were accumulating a business and family assets prior to doing any estate planning?
13. Tell us some war stories?
14. In conclusion, what "1 thing" would you want our audience to take home with them if they forgot everything else?