Skip Navigation

Wealth Transfer Planning

Structuring Transactions to Enhance Financial Results



Investment decisions for wealth transfer planning involve more than trying to obtain the highest returns. At Abbot Downing, we approach wealth transfer through a wider lens. We call it “wealth engineering” – looking at sophisticated investment techniques to identify opportunities to potentially enhance financial results today and for future generations.

Simply transferring wealth is not necessarily the only consideration of ultra-high-net-worth clients. Many families are also concerned with the emotional issues associated it, including loss of control, current and future access to investment funds, and the impact of wealth on future generations. Our multi-discipline approach takes all of these factors into account when it comes to creating a specific plan for a family.

This white paper starts with the basics of investment theory, explores commonly used wealth transfer planning strategies, and introduces alternative techniques that may become more relevant in the near future.


  • Simply stated, wealth engineering is the process of structuring transactions to potentially improve financial results.
  • Wealth transfer planning is a complex process with an ever-changing set of risks, opportunities, and regulations.
  • While it’s easy to become enamored with the latest and greatest strategies that could hypothetically save significant amounts of transfer tax, planning must still be aligned with the client’s overall goals and objectives.
  • Relatively small changes in structuring a wealth transfer transaction can have a dramatic impact on its potential success.
  • Transactions should be closely monitored to determine whether they should be maintained, modified, or terminated. Just as asset returns cannot be predicted with any certainty, future tax laws may be equally unpredictable.