Estate Planning for Investors: Insight From a Real Estate Attorney

Estate Planning for Investors: Insight From a Real Estate Attorney

3 min read
Scott Smith

Scott Royal Smith is an asset protection attorney and long-time real estate investor. His law firm, Royal Legal Solutions, helps thousands of real estate investors and entrepreneurs in all 50 states protect more than $1.2 billion in assets. Since 2014, he has published over 1,000 posts and articles on BiggerPockets and has appeared on hundreds of podcasts.

Experience
Scott fell in love with real estate when his commercial property investment allowed him to graduate from Albany Law School debt-free. He immediately began practicing at the trial and appellate court with the district attorney, placing him in the top 1 percent of lawsuit attorneys in the county in terms of professional experiences. He also worked in private practice, suing insurance companies for denying valid claims (which is surprisingly common!).

After his friend lost $3 million in real estate from a single lawsuit, despite having ample insurance, Scott dedicated himself to educating real estate investors on the importance of affordable asset protection, specifically when it comes to folk knowledge and misconceptions that still exist in the investment and legal community. The solutions Scott recommends for his clients are the same ones he originally created for himself and has been refining on his mission to help people protect themselves from frivolous lawsuits.

Follow Scott as he deconstructs the litigation game and shows you how to free your time, protect your assets, and create wealth that lasts for generations.

Press
Scott regularly appears on shows with folks like Grant Cardone, BiggerPockets, Entrepreneurs on Fire, Wheelbarrow Profits, and his own real estate investing podcast. He frequently interviews industry experts on his Facebook and YouTube accounts and has published thousands of posts and articles on BiggerPockets and his blog for real estate investors.

Education
Scott graduated from Albany Law in 2014.

Accreditations
He has passed both the Texas and New York bar exams.

Follow
Facebook
YouTube
LinkedIn
Tax, Legal, & Asset Protection Secrets for Real Estate Investors Exclusive Facebook Group
RoyalLegalSolutions.com

Read More

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal advice. We recommend you seek the counsel of an attorney familiar with your specific situation and market to ensure you make the best decisions within your real estate business.

Estate planning for real estate investors is unlike that of others. We’re a different breed of people, who have unique concerns throughout our lives—and beyond.

We have to think about what will become of our real estate assets at the end of our lives, succession planning for our businesses, and of course, transferring those assets to our beneficiaries without paying unnecessary expenses.

Well, I’m a real estate attorney who also handles estate planning, and I’m here to help. All of my clients are investors and so am I, which means I can offer you some insider’s insight.

So let’s get right into the essentials of what you need to know about estate planning for real estate investors.

Related: 4 Questions Every New Investor Needs to Ask Their Attorney

Estate Planning 101: The Living Trust and Pour-Over Will

For real estate investors who may be buying and selling assets frequently, it is important to know that you would normally update your estate plan each time you make a significant purchase or sale. This could present a challenge for an active investor with many properties, but the problem can be easily addressed by using a pour-over will.

For the real estate investor, a pour-over will pairs well with a living trust, as this type of will passes all property you own to said living trust upon your death. This ensures a smooth, private transition of your assets. As such, using these tools together is a smart tactic for a clear, easy-to-follow business succession plan that you direct.

Consultation between a Businessman and Male lawyer or judge consult having team meeting with client, Law and Legal services concept.

Estate Planning During Your Life

Though best known for anticipating death, estate planning can also be important while you’re still alive. Here are the tools you should understand.

Medical Power of Attorney

Any of us could become incapacitated as the result of a medical emergency. As several high-profile cases have brought into the public consciousness, these tragedies can be compounded when no estate plan exists.

A durable medical power of attorney can let you control who will make your medical decisions if you are ever unable. “Durable” just means the document stays in effect if you are incapacitated.

Times in your life when you may want a medical power of attorney include if you have a chronic, ongoing health condition, are planning a surgery, receive startling health news, or have other concerns for your well-being. If this hasn’t happened to you, that’s wonderful. But the reality is we can all get sick.

This piece of your estate plan gives you peace of mind that if you aren’t able to make decisions for yourself, someone you trust will. Since you pick the person who makes those decisions when you create the documents, you should know that it’s important to update your power of attorney if you experience a major life event, such as the death of your chosen shot-caller, divorce, etc.

man resting chin on hand looking as though he's deep in thought

Financial Power of Attorney

As an investor, you want to grant financial power of attorney to a trusted individual. After all, rents must be collected, tenants or management handled, and payments must be made if your business is to survive in your absence. Financial power of attorney grants these powers and can be created independently or alongside medical power of attorney.

Related: How to Legally Disinherit Someone Using a Will or Trust

Estate Planning Is Part of Your Asset Protection Plan

Estate planning really is a critical part of your asset protection plan. The ultimate goal is controlling assets and keeping your business going.

Properly executed, your estate plan can ensure that your business outlives you. But it is essential to get the help of a qualified attorney.

I’ll leave you with a personal opinion on what to look for in that attorney. A full-service asset protection firm or an attorney who has investing experience (or many investor-clients) will typically be excellent choices. Whatever you do, just get it done for your own peace of mind.

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal advice. We recommend you seek the counsel of an attorney familiar with your specific situation and market to ensure you make the best decisions within your real estate business.

blog ads 01

Do you have an attorney? Do they have experience working with real estate investors? 

Leave a comment below!

 

Estate planning for real estate investors is unlike that of others. We’re a different breed with unique concerns. We have to consider succession planning for our businesses and transferring assets to beneficiaries upon our death. As a real estate attorney who also handles estate planning, here's some insight.