Building a better life and leaving a lasting legacy requires careful and strategic planning. If you wish to grow and preserve your wealth throughout your lifetime and for the benefit of the next generation, you will need to take steps to minimize tax liabilities, protect your assets, and prepare for the future.
Our financial and tax services in Pittsburgh are designed to assist you with estate planning, tax planning, Medicaid planning, and asset protection. At the Mt. Jackson Group, we take a big picture approach to helping you preserve and grow your finances. We will work closely with you to identify and implement techniques that will help you achieve your financial goals and protect what is most important to you.
Paying taxes is never fun. In an effort to get through the process as quickly and painlessly as possible, many Americans take the standard deduction and consequently pass over filing opportunities that can enable them to pay less in taxes.
Our firm’s goal is to minimize what you owe to the government. You may be eligible for tax deductions, which reduce taxable income, and tax credits, which reduce your final tax bill. When you take the standard deduction or use a boilerplate digital service, you may not be taking advantage of all available itemizations. We will thoroughly review your unique circumstances and advise what deductions and credits you can claim. Our team can also help you take advantage of business entity structuring and other mechanisms to reduce your personal tax liability.
If you plan on leaving inheritances to anyone other than your immediate relatives, you will need to consider the impact of Pennsylvania’s inheritance taxes. These taxes apply to assets transferred to direct descendants, siblings, and many other types of beneficiaries. Jointly owning property or utilizing life insurance policies or lifetime gifts can help avoid or minimize the impact of these taxes. We can help you implement the appropriate solutions.
High-net-worth individuals may also need to take steps to plan for federal estate taxes. Trusts, asset protection vehicles, and other mechanisms can be leveraged to avoid exceeding the estate value limit. Our financial and tax services in Pittsburgh include thorough guidance in this area.
You need a plan for what will happen to you, your minor children, your assets, and your beneficiaries when you pass away or become incapacitated. A robust estate plan will protect your interests throughout your lifetime and once you are gone, and it is never too early to start building one.
Our attorney can assist you with many types of estate planning tools, including:
- Wills. Your last will and testament will allow you to choose a personal representative to manage your estate, a guardian to care for your minor children, and beneficiaries to inherit your assets. A will must be properly validated in order to be enforceable, and the document has some inherent limitations. We can help you prepare, validate, and modify your will.
- Trusts. Trusts are a type of fiduciary relationship in which a trustor appoints a trustee to manage the contents of the trust on behalf of the trustor’s beneficiaries. Trusts can facilitate distributions of assets throughout your lifetime and after you have passed away, but unlike wills, they are private, generally avoid probate, and are more customizable. Trusts can also be used to minimize the impact of estate taxes and achieve asset protection. We can help you create a trust, advise trustees, or serve as your trust administrator.
- Medical Directives. Advance medical directives allow you to provide healthcare instructions for scenarios where you become incapacitated and are unable to communicate. You can specify what types of care you wish to receive (or not receive), including preferences for experimental surgery, resuscitation, and end-of-life care. Our team can help you prepare and execute the necessary documents.
- Powers of Attorney. In appointing a “springing” power of attorney, you allow a trusted agent to act on your behalf when you become incapacitated. Financial powers of attorney manage your affairs within a scope that you define, while medical powers of attorney work to enforce your medical directives. Our firm can assist you with powers of attorney authorizations and can serve as your chosen agent.
Your estate plan should work to avoid probate – the process through which estates are settled – as much as possible. Probate is often an expensive, contentious, and time-consuming endeavor. Strategic usage of trusts and other estate planning mechanisms can minimize the impact of probate. We are also prepared to serve as your personal representative or assist an existing personal representative in fulfilling their responsibilities.
You should also plan for the possibility of needing long-term care later in life. Medicaid planning works to protect and maintain your eligibility for government benefits without having to “spend down” (liquidate) your assets. We can help you proactively prepare for Medicaid eligibility before an immediate need arises.
ProtectiveOur approach is to maximize your assets and provide long-term financial well-being for the next generation of your family.
SupportiveNo matter how small you think your assets are, we will provide maximization strategies and support you every step of the way.
ProactiveWe encourage clients to start the estate planning process as soon as possible in order to take full advantage of the long term benefits.
Our financial and tax services are designed to prepare for a myriad of possibilities, including lawsuits, business disputes, divorces, and judgments. Asset protection can help deter legal action, limit personal liability, and shelter your assets from claims. Our team at the Mt. Jackson Group can review potential risk scenarios and help you make informed decisions. We can then explore asset protection vehicles and assist you with making carefully structured transfers.