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Category : Wealth Management

5 Questions to Ask when Selecting an Estate Planning Firm

When it comes to estate plans, one size definitely does not fit all.

 

If you’re looking for estate planning near Dallas, we realize that your options are plentiful. Where do you start? While it can be overwhelming to select a firm for estate planning, Metroplex Wealth in Southlake, Texas offers the following questions to ask each firm before making a decision:

 

  1. Do You Do A Lot of Business with Clients in My Situation?

As we said earlier, there is no “one size fits all” solution for estate planning. Each client we work with at Metroplex Wealth has their own personal assets and situation that must be taken into account. Is your family blended? Is there a disabled child in your family? Are you a business owner? All of these things and more matter for tailoring a plan to you.

 

  1. Am I Comfortable with This Person?

An estate planner can have all the credentials in the world, but if you don’t feel comfortable with them, then they are the wrong fit for you. You will be sharing a lot of very personal information with this person, so be sure it’s someone you feel you can trust and have a strong rapport with.

 

  1. How Much of Your Firm is Dedicated to Estate Planning?

Asking this question gives you a good sense for how in-depth their knowledge and expertise of estate planning near Dallas is. As rules and regulations can change often, look for a firm that spends a great deal of their resources on estate planning  to ensure the best plan possible.

 

  1. What Is Your Protocol for Working with my Other Financial Advisors?

Estate planning doesn’t happen in a black hole. It happens with collaboration from wealth managers, attorneys, accountants, and more, and it’s important that your estate planner has a history of working well with these counterparts. At Metroplex Wealth, this is one of the things we specialize in! In fact, we have the unique advantage of having all of this under one roof! We share an office with Redding Law firm, ensuring that collaboration between estate plans, financial planning, retirement planning, and other wealth management is constantly happening. And if you want to talk to one of us about your wealth management approach, we’re all just one phone call away.

 

  1. What is your Fee Structure?

Fees and structures vary by estate planning firm, but it’s important to get an idea of cost before making a selection. Look for transparency and open dialogue so you know what to expect up front. Just be wary of making a decision solely based on cost, as lowest cost doesn’t always equal best value.

 

Metroplex Wealth is a wealth management firm in Southlake, Texas that specializes in estate planning near Dallas. Call us today for a consultation on how we can serve you.

What You Need to Know about Asset Protection

At Metroplex Wealth, we find that new clients have many misconceptions about what asset protection is – and what it isn’t. It’s a complicated topic but Metroplex Wealth – a leader in asset protection in Southlake – is here to shed some light on the subject:

 

What Asset Protection is Not

Let’s start with what asset protection is not. Asset protection is not a form of fraudulent finances. It’s not hiding from your taxes or litigation. It’s not funny accounting. Asset protection is a perfectly legal way of working within the laws to create situations where your money is protected should you face future litigation or other liabilities. Another primary goal of asset protection in Southlake is to give our clients ways in which they can deter litigation or other claims before they every begin.

 

When is Asset Protection Ineffective?

Some form of asset protection is a must for all of our clients, but it is completely ineffective if you are already facing pending litigation, being audited, or there is any hint of an issue on the horizon. These issues could include bankruptcy, lawsuits, inquiries into your taxes, etc. At this point, asset protection strategies cannot help as they can be seen to obstruct justice.

 

Areas of Asset Protection

By now you may be wondering, “so how can asset protection strategies help me?” Asset protection in Southlake effects everyone. In fact, you could even think about your basic liability insurances on your properties, vehicles, etc. as a form of asset protection. Other areas we often recommend for clients include:

 

  • Trusts: Protect assets you’d like to leave to your heirs through a formal trust
  • 401(k) Plans: 401(k) and 403(b) plans offer protection of your assets from pending creditors.
  • Gifting: One way to protect your money is to go ahead and gift it to charities of your choice or the heirs you would eventually leave it to anyway.
  • Family Limited Partnerships: These FLPs provide a safety net for your assets through a partnership.

 

Metroplex Wealth: The Best of Financial Planning and Legal Expertise

When looking at firms who offer asset protection in Southlake, it’s important to consider all the services offered. Metroplex Wealth has the district advantage of sharing our office with the legal office of Redding Law Firm. Having an attorney here at our wealth management office offers you the distinct advantage of having everything you need in one place. No need to send paper trails back and forth between your financial advisor and lawyer; we can handle everything in-house. Need to talk with someone personally about your situation? Our boutique financial planning office guarantees a personal, hands-on approach to each client.

Ready to learn more about asset protection and how it can benefit you? Give us a call today at Metroplex Wealth in Southlake, Texas.

What Can I Expect During the Probate Process?

Losing a loved one is never easy.

 

At Metroplex Wealth, our goal is to aid our clients in navigating this difficult time. Whether it’s your estate or that of a loved one that has passed, we have the distinct advantage of marrying the world of estate planning and probate near me to offer everything you or your loved ones need to settle an estate all in one place.

 

What is Probate?

Probate is simply a process in which the assets of the deceased are managed and allocated accordingly. The cost and duration of this process varies depending on if there is a Will in place, if there are real estate holdings, location of the real estate holdings, size of the estate, complexity of the estate, etc. Common fees that show up during the probate process of settling the estate include court fees, accounting fees, attorney fees, and executors fees – to name a few.

 

What Can I Expect During the Probate Process?

Metroplex Wealth, in partnership with the boutique law firm of Redding Law office, is here to assist in all of you and your loved ones probate near me needs. While each probate is different, here are a few common steps you can expect during the probate process:

 

  1. Petition is Filed with the Probate Court

The first step in the probate process is to open a petition for probate of the estate with the proper courts. At this time, the Will (if there is one), death certificate, and petition are all submitted.

  1. Notice of Probate Given to Beneficiaries

Shortly after, all named beneficiaries are given notice of probate of the estate, and a hearing follows. The purpose of the hearing is to provide an opportunity for anyone to provide additional information (maybe someone has a more recent version of a Will in their possession) or to dispute the Will.

  1. Court Appoints Executor or Administrator of the Estate

The person selected as the Executor or Administrator of the estate oversees the process of settling the estate.

  1. Assets are Located and Cataloged

The first task for the Executor is to locate and take all assets into possession. This process can be timely, given that there might be assets even a spouse or named heir does not know about. Once the assets are located, an inventory of assets is to be created.

  1. Pay the Estate’s Creditors

All debts and final bills are paid out of the estate by the Executor/Administrator.

  1. Prepare & File Final Estate Taxes

All estate taxes are filed and paid by the Executor/Administrator.

  1. Assets are Allocated to Beneficiaries

Once all debts have been paid, the Executor/Administrator distributes the remaining assets accordingly.

 

If you have questions about probate near me in Southlake, Texas or want to begin estate planning today, call our office at Metroplex Wealth. We specialize in estate planning, asset protection, and probate and would love to help you navigate these complicated subjects with ease.

3 Reasons Why You Should Choose Metroplex Wealth for your Estate Planning Needs

Each of our days here are numbered, and for most of us, it’s very important to make sure your estate is in order so that family and loved ones are not burdened with excess financial costs and lengthy court proceedings to get the assets we want entrusted to them.

 

Metroplex Wealth specializes in estate planning near me in Southlake, Texas, offering you the peace of mind and financial guidance you need to get your affairs in order.

 

What is Estate Planning?

Estate planning is simply getting your financial affairs in order and creating a plan for who will get what from your estate upon your death, to what extent you want each person to receive benefits, and when benefits should be received. It’s also an important tool for maximizing the estate that is passed to your heirs through proper tax planning. It’s never too early to begin the process.

 

Why Choose Metroplex Wealth for Estate Planning?

Metroplex helps many clients get their affairs in order with proper estate planning near me in Southlake. Here are 3 reasons to choose us for your estate planning needs:

 

  1. Partnership with Boutique Law Firm

In order to get all of your estate planning documents properly filed, a lawyer must be involved in the process. At Metroplex Wealth, we actually share an office with a boutique law firm, Redding Law office, so we are easily able to consult them on any and every question or issue you may have. When you come in to sign documents, everything is in one place. It’s a partnership that reduces headaches and makes your life easier – giving you peace of mind in the estate planning process.

 

  1. Tailored Approach

In fact, at many large firms you aren’t able to speak with your lawyer or financial planner easily. But with us, it’s easy to call and ask us – or your lawyer – a quick question. No question is too small. We tailor our business to your needs and it’s that personalized, “small town” feel keeps many of our clients coming back with all of their wealth management needs for years to come.

 

  1. Free Annual Estate Planning Reviews

Laws change. Needs change. We get that. At Metroplex Wealth, we offer an annual estate planning review – free of charge – to make sure your documents still reflect your current needs. If you already have an estate plan, we are more than happy to review that plan for free and recommend any changes to maximize wealth. You don’t even need to schedule these reviews; we will call you to get the ball rolling and schedule your annual review free of charge.

 

If you are looking for estate planning near me in Southlake, Texas and the greater DFW area, call us today at Metroplex Wealth. We would love to review your current financial situation and see how we can help.

Are You Making these 5 Asset Protection Mistakes?

In a world of litigation and high tax rates, it is incredibly important to make sure your assets are properly protected. Metroplex Wealth offers asset protection near Dallas, Texas, with a staff that is well versed in how to best protect your money.

 

That being said, we have seen many asset protection mistakes over the years, and here are 5 of the top mistakes we see often. Are you making these asset protection mistakes?

 

  1. Clients Who are Underinsured.

Let’s start with insurance. Sure, insurance can’t protect all of your assets, but it certainly helps. We see many clients who think they have enough insurance, when in fact there are underinsured. In the case of a lawsuit, a large umbrella liability policy is critical. Depending on your career and assets, work with an estate planning attorney to determine the proper amount of umbrella insurance for you.

 

  1. Believing Assets in Living Trusts are 100% Protected.

Trusts certainly offer asset protection near Dallas, but they do not offer 100% protection in the case of living trusts. Living trusts give the grantor the opportunity to move money in and out at various times, so in the event that creditors come after you and your money and you are still living, a court may determine that you need to use money in the living trust to pay off a creditor. That being said, trusts are excellent vehicles for asset protection, but it’s important to visit with an estate planning attorney about if you are opening yourself up to risk with the trusts and living trusts you have.

 

  1. Improperly Titling Assets.

When protecting your assets, it’s important to know what assets are titled under your name and to formulate a game plan for titling in a way that best protects you and your money. Do you have adult children who cars or other assets that have your name on them? If they run into issues, then you can be liable. What about your spouse’s creditors for property you share together? Talk with a firm like Metroplex Wealth that specializes in asset protection near Dallas on what is best for you.

 

  1. Exposing Yourself to Risk Through IRAs

IRAs are a great vehicle for long-term retirement savings, but unlike 401K plans that are governed by federal law, the rules about IRAs are governed by state law. Take a look at your state laws on IRAs – both Roth and Traditional – and see if you are unnecessarily exposing yourself to risk.

 

  1. Not Designating Assets to Heirs

Providing for and leaving assets to your heirs can get complicated, particularly if there are multiple spouses involved and many players in the mix. Depending on your specific situation, trusts can be a great asset protection vehicle but there are other methods of protection that can be utilized as well.

 

Concerned there might be some gaps in your asset protection strategy? Call us today at Metroplex Wealth for excellent asset protection near Dallas, Texas.

5 Asset Protection Strategies that Really Work

An important aspect of wealth management is asset protection. In a world where lawsuits happen everyday – over the most flippant of reasons – you must ensure that your wealth is secure and well insulated from creditors and lawsuits. This is where asset protection near me comes into play.

 

Our team at Metroplex Wealth specializes in protecting your assets for future generations.  We don’t do it by lying or hiding your wealth; we use the law to our advantage to create a specialized solution that works for you and keeps your money safe. Here are 5 asset protection strategies we recommend that really work:

 

Have a Plan Now

Here’s the thing: when you realize you need an asset protection strategy, it might be too late. Moving money around near the date of litigation can be misconstrued as a fraudulent transfer and may get you in more legal trouble. Instead, plan now and assume that litigation could happen to you. Take the proper steps now to protect your assets.

 

Use Retirement Plans to Your Advantage

Retirement plans are a great place to diversity wealth and protect it from creditors and litigation. 401K plans and 403B plans are exempt from creditors until assets are distributed, making them a great form of asset protection near me. IRAs are also somewhat shielded from creditor liabilities, but don’t hold the same restrictions as other retirement accounts.

 

Gift the Money to Family or Charities

Here’s an easy one: give it away. If you anticipate giving your assets to your children eventually anyway, you may consider diversitying your estate plan and providing asset protection through gifting today. Your favorite charity could also benefit from your generosity.

 

Know Your Insurances

Insurance is very important, but it’s not the end-all-be-all when it comes to asset protection near me. Know the policies you have, what they cover, and what they don’t. Consider an umbrella policy to cover you for unexpected liabilities. Using insurance in conjunction with other estate planning technques can be a great way to protect your assets.

 

Keep Your Personal and Business Finances Separate

There needs to be a clear delination between personal assets and business expenses or you risk a creditor going after both! There are different vessels where you can protect money on both sides: trusts, LLCs, FLPs, etc. Talk with your estate planning attorney about what avenues best fit your needs for asset protection in Southlake.

 

If you are looking for someone to step in and help you protect your assets, then give us a call at Metroplex Wealth in Southlake, Texas. Our team specializes in asset protection, and we do not believe in “one size fits all” solutions. We tailor our approach to each client, creating a plan that’s best for you and your money. Call us today to set up a consultation.

3 Steps to Take to Determine if Your Retirement is On Track

  • admin
  • December 20, 2019

The idea of nearing retirement may leave you stressed – or fill you with excitement. Many times your stance depends on your financial situation.

 

As you get closer to retirement, it’s important to assess your financial situation and make sure you have an accurate snapshot of what your finances during retirement will look like. If you’re moving closer to retirement, here are 3 steps you need to take to determine if your retirement is on track:

 

Step 1: Take a Look at the Numbers

Pull all your account balances and begin looking at where you are at. Are you where you think you need to be? If not, you may want to look increasing retirement savings or adding catch-up contributions. Visit with a tax planning specialist to determine the best way to allocate funds to create a tax friendly financial situation both now – and in retirement.

 

Step 2: Evaluate Asset Allocation

Make sure that all of your assets are in the best place for the timeframe and retirement goals you have before you. Many people start their retirement savings with one date in mind, set their asset allocation accordingly, but forget to go back and reevaluate as circumstances change. You may want to allocate more aggressively – or more conservatively – based on lifestyle changes or a change in retirement date.

 

Step 3: Consider Social Security

While it should not be a focal point of your retirement plan, your social security income should be a consideration in the overall retirement strategy. Consider all of your investments and determine when will be the best time for you to begin taking your social security income.

 

If you are nearing retirement and unsure if your current retirement plan is where it needs to be, give us a call at Metroplex Wealth. Our Southlake wealth managers are specialists in retirement planning and can develop a strategy that fits your needs.

Why Now is the Time to Do Year End Tax Planning

  • admin
  • December 10, 2019

As 2019 draws to a close, Metroplex Wealth is working with many of our clients on proactive tax planning. Sure, it’s something that is important to consider throughout the year, but now is the time to assess if you can make any adjustments that will prove fruitful on your 2019 tax returns. Here are 5 things our advisors at Metroplex Wealth urge you to consider before the new year:

 

Charitable Giving

Is now the time to make a sizeable charitable gift? The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) made changes to various deductions, but charitable giving deductions have remained relatively untouched in terms of taxation. This means you’ve got a great opportunity to make some charitable gifts and improve your tax situation in the process.

 

Give Cash this Holiday Season

Take advantage of the $15,000 ($30,000 if married) annual exclusion gift, allowing you to give up to this amount in cash or properties all tax-free. This may be a good strategy if you’d like to pass assets along to your children without reducing your lifetime exemption from gift and estate tax.

 

With Income, Timing is Everything

Consider your tax bracket for 2020? Do you anticipate it being lower than 2019? If so, you may want to defer income until after Jan. 1 to offset the tax burden. The opposite is true if you’re expecting a great rise in income next year.

 

Give to Tax Advantaged Accounts

Now is a great time for maxing your contributions to 529 plans, trusts, and other tax advantaged accounts. Income in these accounts is not taxed as long as its used according to the rules set forth in the plan.

 

If you have questions and want to see if you need to make any adjustments for tax planning before the new year, please give us a call at Metroplex Wealth in Southlake, Texas. Our proactive tax planning department can help you make sound decisions that protect your hard earned assets.

Tax Audits: Tax Preparation Pitfalls to Avoid

No one wants to be audited, and in fact, less than 1% of all taxpayers are audited. While there is no formula for determining who will or will not be audited, there are certain pitfalls Metroplex Wealth recommends you avoid to minimize the risk:

 

#1: Failing to Disclose All Income

Since businesses, employers, and financial institutions are all required to report their own income information, it’s very easy for the IRS to cross-reference and flag individuals who fail to report all of their income. Don’t be that guy. Report all of your income and you’re less likely to get audited.

 

#2: Filing a Return that Differs from Most in Your Tax Bracket

The IRS has a formula they call the Discriminant Information Function that evaluates the normal deductions, credits, and exemptions for taxpayers in various income brackets. If you file a return that deviates heavily from the norm in your tax bracket, this may sound an alarm for the IRS to conduct an audit on your account. Working with a trusted tax preparation specialist in Southlake will help you avoid these costly mistakes.

 

#3: Reporting Rental Property Losses

In most cases, if you own rental property, you cannot claim deductions on the losses. However, if you’re working more than 50% of your time on rental property investments or actively involved in managing rental properties, then claiming losses on the property is legal. Just be aware it could trigger an audit.

 

#4: Recent Divorcees’ Tax Returns Don’t Match

Recently divorced? Make sure you and your spouse are aligned on how you are reporting information; otherwise, you could trigger an audit when your reported information does not align.

 

As the year draws to a close and you begin thinking about filing your 2019 taxes, look to the tax professionals at Metroplex Wealth. We do more than tax preparation; we do proactive tax planning. This means we optimize your portfolio for the lowest taxes possible, allowing you to keep more of your wealth and pass it on to the generations to come. Call us today for a consultation with our team in Southlake, Texas.

Wealth Building: 5 Ways Young Professionals Can Get Ahead

When you’re just beginning your career, it can seem impossible to find the extra capital to begin investing or saving for anything, but getting a head start on investing in your early 20s can pay monumental dividends down the road. Here are 10 ways Metroplex Wealth recommends young professionals get ahead when it comes to building long-term wealth:

 

Build an Emergency Fund

Depending on your risk tolerance, an emergency fund should be somewhere between 3-9 months of living expenses on hand and liquid in case you need to access it in a pinch. Do this first before moving forward with other investment strategies.

 

Take Advantage of Time

As a young professional, time is on your side. Compounding is the greatest gift of an early investment – an investment opportunity that you cannot ever get back.

 

Take Risks

In that same vein, the longer timeframe for investments mean you can take more risks with your money. Consider talking with a wealth manager about aggressive growth funds.

 

Start Slow

As you’re learning the markets and the investment style that works best for you, start with a conservative amount of money and only invest that which you don’t need for everyday expenses and your emergency fund.

 

Use Networking to Your Advantage

If you don’t know where to start with investing and building wealth, do not be afraid to ask. Ask others what they are doing. Look to older professionals you trust and ask what their strategies are; ask which companies they invest their money with. You never know until you ask.

 

Are you ready to take the plunge into investing and building long-term wealth? If so, give us a call at Metroplex Wealth in Southlake, Texas – the top wealth management firm in Southlake. Each investment approach is tailored to your individual needs, ensuring we’re doing what’s best for you and your long-term financial goals. Set up a consultation today and let’s talk about building wealth now!