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Ben and Sara Watson are 55 and 54 respectively. They own and operate a very profitable well drilling and maintenance business that has allowed them to acquire and accumulate oil and gas rights totaling $30M over the last 5 years. These oil and gas rights are generating in excess of $1.5M a year on top of the $925k of income from their separate drilling and maintenance business. Ben and Sara have 3 daughters. Their youngest daughter, Katie, and her husband have played key roles in growing Watson Drilling. Ben would like to begin transitioning the business to them and ultimately leave them with the benefit of the business. With the business going to just one of the daughters, Ben and Sara want to equalize the inheritance to their other two daughters. For this, they have already purchased four whole life insurance policies. Two of these policies have significant loans against them and very little cash surrender value. With premiums totaling $400k for the four policies, all owned inside their estate, and insufficient death benefit to cover potential estate taxes and equalize the daughters’ inheritances, these policies may not meet the family’s needs.
The primary planning goals are to:
-Maintain their customary base lifestyle need of $250,000, with approximately another $750,000 for discretionary and other expenses.
-Provide for the financial security of the surviving spouse.
-Provide a succession plan that will allow for a smooth transition of Watson Drilling to their daughter, Katie.
-Assure they have sufficient liquid assets available at their deaths to eliminate the forced liquidation of business or real estate assets.
-Maximize the inheritance that they leave for their children and grandchildren.