Ohio angel investors may be able to maximize the returns on their investments through careful estate planning. By doing so, they may be able to pass more assets on to their families and favorite charities after they die.

In 2016, the lifetime federal estate and gift tax exclusion is $5.45 million for an individual and $11 million for married couples. When people have purchased stock in a startup that shows the potential for substantial growth, they might want to consider gifting the stock to a trust that they have set up for the benefit of their children and grandchildren. By gifting the stock when its value is low, it is removed from the estate and can grow within the trust, allowing it to pass free of estate taxes.

People can use trusts to protect their assets in the event they get divorced or lawsuits are filed against them. Trusts may be established in ways that protect the assets from the reach of creditors and estranged spouses so that the assets and money held in them are used as intended.

Trusts may also be appealing because they may be used to avoid probate. This allows assets to be passed directly to the settlor’s beneficiaries. Using a trust affords more privacy. Probate proceedings are public, but since trusts are not probated, they are not. People who are interested in learning about trusts and estate planning that incorporates angel investments might want to consult with an estate planning attorney to see what steps will be necessary in preparing the necessary documentation and retitling the assets in the name of the trust.

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