How Our Springfield Real Estate Attorneys Can Help
For many individuals and businesses, real estate represents a significant investment and may even be one’s most valuable asset. Whether a home or investment property, property ownership can raise complex estate planning questions that require careful consideration. Failing to incorporate these assets adequately into your estate plan can lead to costly disputes and significantly deplete their value.
At LifeGen Law Group, our team of Springfield real estate attorneys can work with you to develop an estate plan that preserves the value of your real estate holdings and protects them for future generations.
Real Estate-Oriented Estate Planning
Different types of real estate holdings raise unique issues in the world of estate planning. In some cases, the main focus is passing the property on to one’s beneficiaries. In other situations, the property may be actively generating income or may need to be liquidated to achieve future estate planning goals. Our team of Springfield real estate attorneys has extensive experience in handling estates with both modest and complex real estate holdings involving the following types of properties:
- Primary and secondary residences
- Rental properties, including multifamily dwellings
- Vacation properties
- Undeveloped parcels
- Investment properties
- Business and commercial properties
After inventorying your holdings and discussing your goals, our team will work side-by-side with you to create a strategy for managing your real estate that is consistent with your overall estate planning goals.
Strategic Tax Planning
Any aspect of estate planning should include efforts to minimize potential tax liability. Unfortunately, many people with significant real estate holdings focus almost exclusively on growing their portfolios while leaving the tax planning for another day. As a result, these estates often generate significant liabilities for their beneficiaries in the form of estate and other taxes.
Consider the Ownership of the Property
The first strategy in limiting your tax footprint may be surprising to some, but for estate planning purposes, the way you own your property can make a significant difference in your potential tax liability. Whether you own the property in your own name, solely or jointly with someone else, or whether the property is owned by a corporate entity can have a significant impact on the taxes that may be assessed when the property passes through your estate. As part of our process, we evaluate the ownership structure of your holdings and determine whether strategically transferring ownership of your real estate assets might present significant advantages.
Consider the Property Valuation
Valuation of real estate holdings can also play an important role in estate planning, particularly if one plans to give away any real estate to charity or loved ones. While increased value is a positive factor in real estate investing, maintaining awareness of those values helps the prudent investor understand potential tax liabilities.
Timing transfers and values at the time of transfer is critical. Those with large estates should be aware of the federal estate tax exemption and associated gift tax exclusions and exemptions. Careful planning with your estate planning attorney is crucial to determine proper values for transfer, the timing of those transfers, and how these transfers will complement the overarching estate planning strategy.
As of mid-2023, Federal estate tax exemptions will be cut in half in 2026. Our estate planning team can help you plan for this change in order to preserve the value of your real estate assets and minimize your tax liability.
Comprehensive Real Estate Planning in Missouri
At LifeGen Law Group, we know that there is much more to estate planning than limiting taxes. While tax planning is often a primary concern for many of our clients, other factors warrant special consideration:
Ownership & Control
While the ownership of real estate plays a pivotal role in tax planning with real estate, transferring all control to some other entity may not be desirable for other reasons. The property may have sentimental value, such as a primary residence or a vacation property. If the property is home to active business operations, the business owner may want to retain full control over the property in order to protect the business. Long-term tax consequences should be balanced against more immediate concerns. Our team can help you identify potential strategies that are consistent with your overall estate planning goals so you can decide what works best for you and your family.
Many real estate investors depend upon their real estate portfolio for cash flow. We can help you structure your holdings to minimize tax exposure while preserving the income your properties provide.
Loans and Creditors’ Claims
Loans and other claims against the title to your properties can impact strategies available for those properties. Lenders may require notice and consent before transferring ownership. Likewise, creditors may take aggressive action to assert their claims if they believe you are attempting to avoid their claim. We can help you navigate these situations and avoid some of the more common pitfalls.
Let the LifeGen Law Group Springfield Real Estate Attorneys Help You
Do not risk the value of your real estate portfolio with careless estate planning. With three decades of estate planning experience, LifeGen Law Group can help you navigate the estate planning complexities of your real estate portfolio. We can help clarify your priorities and formulate a plan to make sure that your family is cared for long after you are gone. To discuss your needs and how we can help, contact us today via phone or email to schedule a consultation. LifeGen Law Group works with individuals, families, and businesses in Springfield, Branson, and throughout Missouri.