Asset Protection, Trust Planning, and Letter of Wishes
My long-awaited trip to Idaho to pick up my restored 1997 Porsche Targa 911 SC finally arrived. I flew with my brother Mike the other day to Idaho to pick up my “Baby” and then we ventured onward to our Great Road Trip from Idaho and onto some less traveled roads winding through Oregon like only a Porsche could do and finally back to Portland, Oregon.
As we got going, we traveled and visited some of the highlights of our Father’s trailblazing past. Stopping at one of his favorite watering holes to honor his memory, I fueled-up with a $5.00 4-Pound Burrito; I was ready to hit the road; I don’t think I’ll need to eat for the rest of the day.
Along the way, we reminisced about Dad and some of his favorite Eastern Oregon sights; which led to what I’d like to bring to your attention today; Asset Protection, Trust Planning, and Letters of Wishes. Most of us are familiar with the concept(s) of Asset Protection and Trust Planning, but how many of you have heard of Letters of Wishes? Neither had my Brother.
Reducing Your Family’s Pain After You’re Gone
How are Your Assets Available, Accessible, and Deliverable
On the surface, there are many types of Asset Protection “Trusts”. It almost seems like one could create almost anything imaginable as long as you are able to articulate it in writing, from Soup-to-Nuts. As you may know, Asset Protection Planning involves structuring your assets to allow reduction of exposure to your assets from undesirable sources. This could include the use of different types of trusts, retitling of your assets, additional contributions to retirement accounts, and possibly creating “Family” business entities and strategies.
Depending on your “Unique” reason for wanting to protect your assets, whether you own a business, you are a professional with malpractice exposure or, like many of our High-Wealth Clients and Customers who need to protect their “Dynasties” from situations of undesirable property divisions. We help you protect your assets.
I believe all Trusts and Wills should have Letters of Wishes. People should write in a plain language the instructions within the framework they would like those to perform
Letters of Wishes and Their Role as Guidelines
Although non-binding, Letters of Wishes (Memorandum of Wishes) provides guidance usually for the “Trustee” to help bring clarity to the Purpose and Intent of the Estate Planning documents. This is helpful when formal documents such as a Will or Trusts are too broad in their instructions.
Some Common Uses to Provide Guidance and Reasoning to:
- Wills : Executors and the Trustees of Trusts established under the Will.
- Minor Children: Guardians of minor children appointed under a Will.
- Potential Contentious Estates : Executor as to why a certain beneficiary is not named in a Will.
- Discretionary Family Trusts: Appointors, Guardians and Trustees.
- Charitable Giving: Named Beneficiaries of a Will with an understanding that the Testator intended them to pass gifts left in their names to certain preferred charities.
As Mike discovered on our road trip, there are many different sophisticated and “High-Level” ways to protect your assets that many financial professionals choose not to discuss and utilize. I believe all Trusts and Wills should have Letter of Wishes. People should write in a plain language the instructions within the framework they would like those to perform. I will definitely explore some of these with you moving forward because I can hear a lot of questions coming my way soon.
Daniel frequently provides high value, high worth content and advice via Workshops, Podcasts and Printed Articles concerning Wealth Preservation techniques. If you wish for Daniel to speak to you or your Professional Group, please contact us.
Morris+D’Angelo is the industry-leader for many High-Wealth Customers and Organizations.
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