PwC releases new guide to taxes and wealth management

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PricewaterhouseCoopers has released its 13th Annual Guide to Tax and Wealth Management, 2010. This year, in light of the current economy and pending tax law changes under the Obama Administration, the Guide was restructured to focus broadly on the wealth management strategies and tools that are most instrumental to building an effective plan. Available for free download for the first time, the new Guide offers strategies and guidance on how the new economic environment impacts wealth management planning for individuals, families and business owners.

Also for the first time, the Guide is supported by an online resource center, which allows users to download specific chapters or the full book, view video interviews with partners on important financial planning topics and gain access to other PricewaterhouseCoopers resources on personal finance and wealth management. Together, the Guide and online resource center serve as a reference for overall financial planning, including:

·         Strategic tax planning

·         Managing your portfolio

·         Charitable giving

·         Estate and gift planning

·         Business succession planning

·         Choosing entities for businesses/investments

·         Family limited partnerships

·         Insurance

·         Family offices

·         Working with financial advisers

“Certainly, in the last year, much has changed, and the economic landscape continues to evolve. But opportunity is inherent in times of change,” says Richard Kohan, lead personal financial services principal with PricewaterhouseCoopers Private Company Services and co-author of this year’s Guide. “Within this context, many individuals and businesses may want to reconsider their short- and long-term plans. Our goal is to describe the pertinent concepts and strategies so individuals and business-owners can discuss these topics knowledgeably with their advisors.”

Written in easy-to-understand language, the Guide avoids complicated tax jargon while clearly explaining complicated wealth management strategies, including a four step process to successfully build an effective estate plan.

With the Obama Administration expected to affect further changes – likely, increases – in the tax environment, the time to review existing financial plans and strategies is now. “This year, perhaps more than any in recent memory, calls for an in-depth review of one’s financial approach. Tax planning and wealth management are undertakings that should be actively overseen throughout the year, but year’s end is a logical time to step back and take a fresh look at both your goals and the ways you plan to reach them,” adds Brittney Saks, personal financial services partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers Private Company Services and co-author of this year’s Guide. “We write the Guide to Tax and Wealth Management each year to educate people on financial and wealth management opportunities that should be considered during year-end planning. Of course, our 2010 Guide is a good place to start, but we have always recommended speaking with a qualified adviser to plan financial strategies for the future.”

In addition to personal wealth management, the Guide also looks at strategies for business owners, including succession planning, choosing entities for businesses/investments and insurance. Since many business owners do not begin to plan for the succession of the business early enough, they fail to identify the person who will take over leadership of the business. This failure prevents critical planning that is essential for an orderly transition of the business. “At the same time they’re reviewing their personal year-end wealth strategies, it’s important that business owners also contemplate the eventual transfer of their businesses, whether to family members, other shareholders, key employees, or a third party,” adds Saks.

"Preparation is the best plan in uncertain times, and between slowed economic growth at home and the coming tax reform, uncertainty seems plentiful,” adds Kohan. “Individuals who take the time now to develop and fine-tune a proactive tax and financial plan will be best positioned to take advantage of opportunities as they arise.”

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