Families need to prepare for the risks of a rapidly changing global economy and the practical realities in the face of conflicting inter-generational and east/west family value changes. We advise clients on estate planning and wealth management issues related to the use of offshore holding companies, offshore trusts, private foundations, tax planning, and asset/privacy protection mechanisms, all of which require specialized expertise and meticulous planning.
Everyone (U.S. citizen/resident or Taiwanese citizen/resident owning assets in the US (real property, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, etc.)) needs an estate plan regardless of the size of their estate or marital status. If proper documentation does not direct the allocation and disposal of assets, the country/state in which you live or own assets at the time of your death will make that decision; a decision that could be costly to heirs and will almost always fail to distribute assets in the way desired
Over time, family situations change ‑‑ children grow, charitable interests shift, and personal priorities and business commitments undergo transitions. So it is with an estate plan, which requires periodic review if it is to continue to meet personal goals and objectives. Likewise, due to the rapid changes in all phases of taxation in recent years, it is important for families to periodically review their economic and personal positions relative to estate and gift taxation as well as income taxation. However, many people may inadvertently allow several years to go by without giving adequate consideration to possible changes in property holdings or provisions in wills and trust instruments. Wills and trust instruments should also be reviewed on an annual basis.
An estate plan needs to be revised from time to time, such as in any of the following situations:
- Acquisition or disposal of property by sale or gift.
- Changes in the family such as marital status or an increase in family members.
- A move to another state/country.
- A change in any business relationships, such as changing employment, buying or selling a business, becoming a partner in a business, or incorporating a new business.
- A desire to alter the beneficiaries of a Will or trust, or both.
- A decision to name a different executor or trustee.
- A plan for the guardianship of minor children or if a child becomes an adult and no longer needs a guardian.
- Revisions to the tax laws.
Protecting Your Worldwide Assets
Key China Estate Planning Issues for U.S. Persons