Page 8 - Jupiter West - June '18
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Page 8, Jupiter West

What Sumner Redstone’s Estate Planning Challenges
Can Teach Us

Submitted by Anné                                             he might have hoped to retain by publicly revealing           don’t spell out those roles, a court will. If you really want
Desormier-Cartwright, Esq.                                    humiliating details about his physical and sexual appetites   to, you can disinherit someone. But, you need to make
	 Media mogul Sumner                                          and his diminishing mental capacity.”                         sure you do it the right way for it to be legally effective.
Redstone – owner of                                           	 2. Define “incapacity.” Mr. Redstone did (smartly)          	 5. Hire a qualified lawyer to troubleshoot your plan
CBS and Viacom, among                                         establish an irrevocable trust. However, his case is also     and help you game out contingencies. A lawyer with
other holdings – allegedly                                    a cautionary tale: If you’re going to tie asset transfers     significant estate planning experience can help you deal
created quite an estate                                       or succession plans to your own mental state, you             both with the “known unknowns” and the “unknown
planning mess, according                                      must define “incapacity.” If you don’t, the state will. A     unknowns” that can throw your estate planning strategy
to a report in The New                                        seemingly trivial semantic argument like that could tie       off course. The more complex your estate is, the more
York Times. A June 2, 2017                                    your estate up in court for years, pitting family members     involved your attorney should be.
article reports that “with a                                  against one another in an embarrassing public battle.         	 If you have questions about this article or your estate
fortune estimated at over $5                                  	 3. Create a clear succession plan. Leave no doubt.          plan and what documents are necessary schedule a free
billion, Sumner M. Redstone could afford the best estate      Clarify how your businesses will be managed and by            consultation today by calling our office at (561) 694-
planning that money could buy. What he ended up with is       whom. Step down from leadership while you are mentally        7827, Anné Desormier-Cartwright, Esq., Elder & Estate
a mess – no matter the outcome of the welter of lawsuits      capable of making that decision, and give a safe and clear    Planning Attorneys PA, 480 Maplewood Drive, Suite 3,
swirling around him.”                                         hand-off to your successor. If you can, it’s much better to   Jupiter, FL 33458.
	 Here are five lessons from the business titan’s             be deliberate and thoughtful about hand-offs of authority,    	 The content of this article is general and should not be
problems:                                                     rather than waiting until things become unmanageable.         relied upon without review of your specific circumstances
	 1. Avoid making decisions that could complicate             	 4. Make crystal clear what role your children will          by competent legal counsel. Reliance on the information
both your public image and your business situation.           play once you are gone. Disenfranchised or estranged          herein is at your own risk, as it expresses no opinion by
The New York Times reported that “A lawsuit brought           family members can wreak havoc on your fortune if you         the firm on your specific circumstances or legal needs.
by Manuela Herzer, one of Mr. Redstone’s late-in-life         don’t clarify what roles they will play in your business,     An attorney client relationship is not created through the
romantic partners, stripped him of whatever dignity           your trusts, and your legacy after you are gone. If you       information provided herein.

What Should You Look For

In An Annual Financial Review?

By Sally Sima Stahl                                           to external forces. For instance, if interest rates were to   	 This article was written by Edward Jones for use by
	 Given the complexities                                      rise steadily over a year’s time, you might want to consider  your local Edward Jones financial advisor.
of the investment world,                                      some changes to your fixed-income investments, such as        	 Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors
you might consider working                                    bonds, whose value will be affected by rising rates. In any   are not estate planners and cannot provide tax or legal
with a financial professional                                 case, it’s another thing to talk about during your annual
to help you move toward                                       review.                                                       advice. You should consult your estate-planning attorney
your goals, such as a                                         	 These aren’t the only elements you may want to bring        or qualified tax advisor regarding your situation.
comfortable retirement.                                       up in your yearly review with your financial professional     	 Call me for a free portfolio review at (561) 748-7600,
You’ll want to establish                                      – but they can prove to be quite helpful as you chart your
good communication with                                       course toward the future.                                     Sally Sima Stahl, AAMS, 1851 W. Indiantown Road, Ste.
whomever you choose, and
you should meet in person                                                                                                   106, Jupiter, FL 33458.
at least once a year to discuss your situation. At these
annual reviews, you’ll want to cover a variety of topics,
including these:
	 • Your portfolio’s progress – Obviously, you will want
to discuss how well your investments are doing. Of course,
you can follow their performance from month to month, or
even day to day, by reviewing your investment statements
and online information, but at your annual meeting, your
financial professional can sum up the past year’s results,
highlight areas that have done well or lagged, and show
you how closely your portfolio is tracking the results you
need to achieve your long-term goals.
	 • Your investment mix – Your mix of investments –
stocks, bonds, government securities and so on – helps
determine your success as an investor. But in looking at
the various investments in your portfolio, you’ll want to
go beyond individual gains and losses to see if your overall
mix is still appropriate for your needs. For example, is
the ratio of stocks to bonds still suitable for your risk
tolerance? Over time, and sometimes without you taking
any action, this ratio can shift, as often happens when
stocks appreciate so much that they now take up a larger
percentage of your portfolio than you intended – with a
correspondingly higher risk level. If these unexpected
movements occur, your financial professional may
recommend you rebalance your portfolio to align it more
closely with your goals and risk tolerance.
	 • Changes in your family situation – A lot can happen
in a single year. You could have gotten married, divorced
or remarried, added a child to your family or moved to a
new, more expensive house – the list can go on and on. And
some, if not all, of these moves could certainly involve
your financial and investment pictures, so it’s important
to discuss them with your financial professional.
	 • Changes in your goals – Since your last annual review,
you may have decided to change some of your long-term
goals. Perhaps you no longer want to retire early, or you’ve
ruled out that vacation home. In any case, these choices
may well affect your investment strategies, so it’s wise
to discuss them.
	 • Changes in the investment environment – Generally
speaking, it’s a good idea to establish a long-term
investment strategy based on your individual goals, risk
tolerance and time horizon, and stick with this basic
strategy regardless of the movements of the financial
markets or changes in the economy. Still, this doesn’t
mean you should never adjust your portfolio in response
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