Rob and Marsha were successful small business owners. They owned a company that developed a component that was used in the hydraulic fracturing industry. Sales of this component were going so well that their company was now worth ten times what it was when they first started.
Heidi had prepared Rob and Marsha’s original estate planning documents, which consisted of a revocable living trust, pour-over wills and powers of attorney. Rob wanted review their estate plan and see if they needed to update it.
We met with Rob and Marsha to review their documents and discuss the recent developments in their business and the new concerns they had about how these changes affected their estate plan. They told us that, over the past five years, their company had grown substantially in value and it was now worth well over $50M. Due to the substantial growth in their company, the estate plan that was right for them five years ago, was no longer going to work. We discussed various options that could reduce their estate tax liability, ultimately deciding their best option would be to update their estate plan by gifting partial ownership of their business into irrevocable trusts which would allow them to utilize their estate tax exemption as well as allow the assets to grow estate tax free in the trusts. As a result, Rob and Marsha were able to shift over $10M out of their estate, which will save them a minimum of $4M in estate taxes.