High Net Worth Estate Planning Lawyer in Texas

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High Net Worth Estate Planning

According to data from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Texas attracts more high-net-worth individuals than any other State except Florida. The exact definition of a “high-net-worth” individual is somewhat elusive, but it generally involves assets of over $1 million, an annual salary of over $200,000, or both. Texas offers many benefits for wealthy individuals, including tax advantages, a business-friendly environment, and a strong economy. To take full advantage of these benefits, high-net-worth individuals should supplement their financial, real estate, and business activities with robust estate planning. To discuss these strategies in more detail, consider contacting a high-net-worth estate planning lawyer in Texas. Book your consultation with Hunter Sargent, PLLC today to learn more.

Contact an Estate Planning Attorney in Texas

While this article provides a basic overview of estate planning for high-net-worth individuals, the most effective strategies target your unique needs. A consultation with a high-net-worth estate planning lawyer in Texas allows you to discuss your priorities in more detail and determine the most appropriate estate plan. Call our law firm today. Choose Hunter Sargent, PLLC to take the next step toward an estate plan that protects your hard-earned wealth.

Understanding the Importance of Estate Planning for High-Net-Worth Individuals

Estate planning is important for high-net-worth individuals for several reasons. The biggest is that you have a lot at stake. You want to plan to make sure that your wealth is managed to your benefit, and your family’s benefit. Here are a few highlights of situations you can avoid with estate planning:

Inheritance Disputes

When beneficiaries stand to inherit lucrative assets, the potential for disputes rises. Even the most amicable family members may turn on each other when millions of dollars are on the line. As a high-net-worth individual, you can limit these potential disputes with a clear, fair estate plan. Most disputes result from vague, open-ended estate plans that leave beneficiaries guessing. By making your wishes crystal clear, you can leave your beneficiaries with financial security – not arguments.

Tax Problems

Texas is one of the most tax-friendly States in the nation. It has no estate tax, no inheritance tax, and no income tax. However, high-net-worth individuals must still consider federal estate taxes. As of 2024, beneficiaries will encounter these taxes if the estate is worth over $13.61 million. With effective estate planning strategies, however, Texas residents can mitigate or even eliminate these tax burdens for their beneficiaries. And, you also need to think about gift taxes. If you’re planning to dispose of some of your assets while you’re living via gifts, you need to know the gift tax implications of those gifts and potential exemptions. We can help with that.

Financial Irresponsibility

Estate planning can also protect beneficiaries from their own financial irresponsibility. One study found that 33% of Americans who receive inheritance find themselves in debt within just two years. It might seem unthinkable for family members to spend your entire fortune in such a short timeframe, but this occurs on a surprisingly regular basis. Estate planning can help prevent the waste of funds with nuanced, personalized strategies.

Key Components of an Effective Estate Plan

While all estate plans share a few common components, high-net-worth individuals may need to consider additional options for more effective outcomes. The three main estate planning tools to consider are a last will and testament, trusts, and a power of attorney.

Last Will and Testament

A last will and testament is the most basic requirement for effective estate planning. This document is important for all Texas residents, whether they are young, old, healthy, sick, rich, or poor. The primary function of a will is to designate beneficiaries and determine which assets they should receive.


Most high-net-worth individuals in Texas should consider the potential benefits of trusts. Middle-class residents with net worths of $100,000 might also benefit from establishing trusts – even if this wealth bracket does not fall into the traditional definition of “high-net-worth.” Trusts are effective estate planning tools because they can control how beneficiaries receive assets. In contrast, a will may only have the power to control who receives assets. For example, you might have a family member who is not yet ready for a big financial responsiblity. You may feel uncertain about leaving this individual large sums of money, but you may still be concerned about their financial security after your passing. This obvious strategy in this scenario is to consider a spendthrift or “drip-feed” trust. As the name implies, this trust distributes funds on a gradual basis rather than paying out a lump-sum amount. This provides financial security for your beneficiary while protecting them from issues such as gambling, debt, substance abuse, or poor investment choices. Trusts also provide a range of tax planning advantages, and they have the potential to reduce or eliminate federal estate tax obligations. Popular choices among high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth families include charitable remainder trusts (CRTs) and generation-skipping trusts (GSTs). There are almost too many different types of trusts to list, and the best option depends entirely on your family’s unique needs. To discuss a trust that meets your specific priorities, consider consulting with a high-net-worth estate planning lawyer in Texas.

Power of Attorney

Also known simply as “POA,” a power of attorney allows you to designate a representative to handle your finances if you ever become incapacitated. For financially savvy individuals who play an active role in their investments and business activities, this estate planning tool may be crucial. The thought of leaving these decisions to a family member who has no idea how to run your business or manage your investments may seem unthinkable. Without designating a financial power of attorney, your business and investments could suffer tremendously while you are incapacitated. There are many situations where a POA might be helpful, not just for those who are in poor health. For example, you can also designate a POA to handle your real estate transactions while you are abroad, or a POA to handle financial matters when you are unable to do so.

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The best time to plan your legacy was 10 years ago. The next best time is today. Everyone needs estate planning - the good news is it's never too early and if you're reading this, it's not too late.

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    While this website provides general information, it does not constitute legal advice. Any communication with Hunter Sargent, PLLC via e-mail or through this website does not constitute or create an attorney-client relationship and is not privileged or confidential.