We are known as one of the better CPA firms for estate planning, here in San Francisco. The reason for this is that by virtue of being accountants, we are often deep and dirty into the details of our clients income, businesses, and investments. For those people for whom we act as their financial advisor, whether for them as an individual or for them as a business, it is not that difficult for us to look out into the future and help them to conduct estate planning.
Call a CPA or Call a Lawyer for Estate Planning? Perhaps Call Both
Unfortunately, however, when someone looks at estate planning their first call may be to a lawyer. While there are many wonderful lawyers here in San Francisco who focus on estate planning, a lawyer may not be the only call you may wish to make. How so? Well, lawyers focus on the law. They focus on the legal issues in terms of setting up an estate, or trust, or perhaps probate if the issue has gotten that out of hand. They are experts in the legal issues that impact estates, and that impact the transition of assets from one generation to the next.
However, as anyone who has ever run a business can tell you, the legal issues are often the least of your problems. It is not, difficult, to set up a corporation for example. It is, however, difficult to set up a corporation that actually makes money! And it is even more difficult to set up a corporation that makes enough money to be included in one’s last will or testament.
As accountants, in contrast with attorneys, we focus on the numbers. We are keen to look at what are your assets and what are your liabilities, what are your streams of income and what are your outlays. Amongst your outlays none or more important than the tax implications of your current income, whether that comes from a job or whether that comes from a business. In this manner, when setting up an estate for a resident of San Francisco or for someone elsewhere in the Bay Area, we have an eye to the future tax implications. You don’t want to leave your estate to Uncle Sam!
In addition, because we are often working with you on at least a yearly basis when we file your taxes, we have a sense of your present situation. Minimizing just a few dollars in taxes today can mean many, many dollars tomorrow for your heirs.
You Owe Your Heirs Estate Planning
If you are a person getting up in age, or you have children, or you have significant assets, estate planning is a must. Your obligation to your descendants is to leave your affairs in good order, so please reach out to us, now that tax season is over, to do a quick check up on your assets and obligations, and we can work together to help you with your estate planning needs.