Sand Dollar MD Planning

Estate Planning

Almost everyone has a need for estate planning. Estate planning can be defined as the process to structure the future disposition of assets after the death of the owner. Affluent physicians have to take considerable care to ensure tax efficient wealth transfer in line with their goals and values. There is a wide variety of strategies physicians can employ in planning their estates. Some estate planning strategies are very specific to the physician-profession. The strategies selected will of course depend on a physician's unique circumstances and personal goals.

Some physicians prefer to focus on minimizing transfer taxes (estate-, gift-, and inheritance taxes) which entail charitable instruments and the formal abrogation of control over selected assets. Other physicians would like to remain in control over most of their assets, thus requiring a trade-off between taxes and control.

It is important for physicians to consider that the forced transfer of equity in highly profitable and valuable medical practices due to the death of a partner proves to be one of the main challenges their families will face.

Proper estate planning requires the services of an estate planning attorney. Detlefsen Nel & Associates works closely with our clients' attorneys. We also have an estate planning attorney associate to assist our clients if they don't have their own attorney.

Basic estate planning strategies include:

  • Revocable and irrevocable trusts.
  • Charitable trusts.
  • Life insurance planning and Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts.
  • Qualified personal residence trusts.
  • Grantor-retained annuity trusts.
  • Family limited partnerships and limited liability companies.

More sophisticated estate planning strategies used by physicians in conjunction with basic estate planning approaches are:

  • Self-canceling installment notes.
  • Cascading grantor-retained annuity trusts.
  • Intentionally defective trusts.
  • Remainder-purchase marital trusts.
  • Dynasty trusts.

Detlefsen Nel & Associates can serve as an important resource throughout the estate planning process. Any legal advice obtained from our associate attorney is provided independent of, and not endorsed by, LPL Financial, which is not licensed to provide legal advice.