Estate Planning

Estate and financial planning often requires specialized knowledge in many areas. At AVZ, we believe that estate and financial planning can be done best by a team of professionals working together to meet the needs of our clients at all the stages of their lives, with an emphasis on wealth preservation and legacy planning. Because of AVZ’s close relationship with its clients, in-depth knowledge of their financial affairs and personal income tax situation, we can make a vital contribution to the overall direction and coordination of the entire financial and estate planning team. We can also help clients decide on the right, sound plan for their respective families. Our experience and insight can help you and your loved ones better understand your estate plan and can assist you to make timely, well-founded decisions about business succession planning as well as personal estate distribution.

Your CPA should be a key member of your estate planning team (along with a lawyer, a bank trust officer, an insurance agent and an investment advisor, as appropriate), especially due to the recent Federal estate tax changes increased emphasis on income tax and tax basis planning. CPAs are often most knowledgeable with respect to the Federal and state income and estate tax implications of planning decisions.

Since 1950, our CPAs and business advisors have earned an outstanding reputation for their knowledge and experience in these matters and are often called upon to deliver appropriate accounting services to help implement the estate plan.

We can help assure that your planning and dispositions of property, whether during your lifetime or at death, minimizes tax obligations in order to maximize the amount that will ultimately pass to your heirs. Often you can save your heirs taxes by making a current gift of property that is likely to appreciate substantially in the future. If you have a number of beneficiaries in mind, a gift-giving program using the annual gift-tax exclusion can substantially reduce taxes on your estate.

Have you considered the following?

  • If you die without a will, disposition of your property in accordance with state law might not be what you desire.
  • Has your plan made best use of the appropriate marital deduction to minimize taxes?
  • Has proper use been made of joint ownership of property? Have you considered the income and gift tax consequences of setting up, transferring or selling joint interests?
  • Have trusts been used to your advantage?
  • Have beneficiaries and ownership of life insurance policies been properly designated?
  • Does your estate plan provide sufficient liquid assets from which to pay taxes?
  • Does your estate plan take state taxes into consideration?

 

The CPA’s Role in Estate Planning does not necessarily end at death. AVZ can assist you with:

  • tax returns that may be required (such as the decedent’s final income tax returns, estate tax returns and any required estate of trust income tax returns);
  • working with the executor and attorney during the estate valuation process to provide business valuations;
  • working with the executor and attorney to identify opportunities for tax savings following the date of death;
  • representing the estate in the event of an IRS or New York income or estate tax audit; and
  • helping the executor through the estate administration and accounting process, as well as assisting beneficiaries with their estate and financial planning.

 

We serve clients throughout the Tri-State area and can meet with you in our office or your home, whenever you need help or advice.