Knowing A Good Attorney and CPA

Oct 15, 2013

I was watching Duck Dynasty this past week (I am a huge fan) and the episode reminded me somewhat of an article I recently read in CPA Voice from The Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants. In this particular episode of Duck Dynasty, the patriach of the Robertson family, Phil,was driving his son, Willie, around on an ATV showing him the property that will eventually be passed down to him and his brothers. Phil had already decided to have the property divided among the four brothers, and of course Willie thought he was getting “jipped” with his portion compared to his brothers.

effective-succession-planningThe article in CPA Voice related to Soprano’s star,  James Gandolfini, whom passed away in June. The article explains that Gandolfini “missed several opportunities to maximize how much of his estate ends up with his family. Instead, he maximized the amount going to the IRS – possibly $30 million of an estimated $70 million estate”. Gandolfini could have left more to his wife and son, which would have been safe from taxation. “Close to 80% of the assets covered by the will could now be subject to a combined state and federal tax rate of 55%,” according to the article, due to him leaving less than 20% of his assets to his wife.

These two instances highlight the importance of having a succession plan and a plan for your estate. Planning ahead can not only save your heirs tax money, but can also relieve them a lot of future headaches. To have a good plan in place, one needs to know a good attorney and a good CPA – and they both need to work together.

Ultimately, what you want is to do what Uncle Si would do: sit back, relax, grab a cup of iced tea, and eventually take a nap. Knowing a good CPA and attorney will help you do just that.

By: Ryan Leininger, CPA

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