Solutions that Work for You

Often, our first meeting with clients is prompted by a specific situation, a nagging question they have, or an action they hope to take. Below is a sampling of issues that cause clients to come to us, organized by topic. We’d love to talk about how we can help if these or other financial concerns are top-of-mind for you.

Investments

Your concern

How we can help

Q. I want to lower the risk in my portfolio and continue growing my wealth.

A. Balancing portfolio risk with growth is key to a successful investment plan. But it’s not as simple as finding your risk comfort zone and investing everything there. With a well-considered risk strategy, you can vary the levels of risk in your investments, allowing for growth at a level of volatility that is below the market average.

Q. I’d like to get a reliable amount of income from my investment portfolio.

A. Reliable Income is often thought of as “less income.” That’s not the case. With the right asset allocation, risk management, and investment strategies working for your portfolio, you may be surprised by the level of reliable income that can be generated. We can make that happen for you.

Q. How can I invest in line with my values and positively impact society?

A. Impact investing is a personal choice to affect change. We focus on your key concerns — from the environment, to social issues, to corporate behavior — and provide the analysis and investment vehicles needed for you to make a difference.  Find out how to get started.

Q. Can you help me double the size of my portfolio in 10 years or less?

A. There are no guarantees in investing. We invest your money to take advantage of what we think are the most promising opportunities globally, in both the public and private markets (hedge funds, private equity, private debt and real estate). Our aim is to keep you invested comfortably and profitably. Let’s talk about how we do that.

Q. I have received an inheritance and need help investing it.

A. Interestingly, how you inherit can be as important as what you inherit. It can affect how you plan for taxes, how you invest, and how you spend. LNWM advisors are experts in managing all aspects of an inheritance. We’ve been helping families preserve and growth their wealth over many generations — and we know we can help you make the of most of yours.

Lifetime and Family Wealth Planning

Your concern

How we can help

Q. I am going through a major life transition and need financial advice.

A. Seeking the help of experienced experts is the smartest thing you can do at a time of change. We’ve been guiding our clients through major life transitions since 1967. From a new plan for life ahead to tax strategies and an estate plan, we can certainly help. Take a look at what we can do for you.

Q. I want to preserve my family’s wealth in a way that reflects our values.

A. Carefully done wealth planning can connect your family’s wealth and values in very real ways. At LNWM we go beyond that to Wealth Regeneration®, providing you with the financial tools and strategies required to align your assets with your values, goals, family needs, and aspirations.

Q. I need to make sure my finances can sustain my lifestyle.

A. We provide the confidence you need through detailed income sustainability analysis for now and decades into the future. Just as important, your investment portfolio at LNWM will reflect your current and projected income needs, your goals, and tolerance for risk.

Q. Part of my salary is in stock options and my spouse has restricted stock units (RSUs) at his job. What should we do with these?

A. These alternate forms of payment are known as equity compensation and come in many forms – RSUs, RSAs, and various types of options. We can advise you on how to make the most of this valuable asset while avoiding the pitfalls. Get in touch with us to explore how.

Q. What is the best way for me to support my community with a charitable gift?

A. You have many choices as to what, when and how to give. From making a one-time donation of appreciated stock to setting up a foundation, you’ll want to make your gift in a way that is tax smart, has long-term benefit, and maximizes how much the charity actually receives. We can help with all of that.  

Tax Planning

Your concern

How we can help

Q. I’d like to know how much I can save on taxes with better management of my assets.

A. You only own what you keep after taxes. That’s why we manage your investment portfolio to maximize net return after taxes, through capital gains and income strategies. And then we go further. We analyze your entire asset base for opportunities to maximize after-tax return, including the use of trusts, and tax-advantaged accounts.

Q. Is there a way to lower taxes on my investment gains and income?

A. There are many ways to make your investment portfolio more tax efficient, so that you get a higher net return without additional risk. Through tax-exempt investments and a variety of strategies, including asset location, tax-loss harvesting and tax-aware manager selection, we can help you minimize taxable gains and income. We can also advise you on how and when to sell real estate and less liquid investments in a tax-efficient way.

Q. What are the tax benefits of a trust?

A. A trust can help lower a variety of taxes — estate taxes, capital gains taxes, and even income taxes. Specialized trusts can hold your most valuable assets (like business, restricted stock, or real estate), so they are out of your estate but can still be used to support you and your spouse during your lives, and then your heirs and/or charities after you are gone. As the oldest independent trust company based in the Northwest, we can help you explore all the options.  

Q. What are the tax implications of what I leave in my will?

A. The amount you can leave to your heirs free of federal estate taxes has doubled since 2017. But this and other beneficial provisions are due to expire at the end of 2025. As the oldest independent trust company based in the Northwest, we can help you create a plan designed to pass on as much as possible to your beneficiaries after taxes.

Trusts, Foundations, and Endowments

Your concern

How we can help

Q. How can setting up a trust benefit me and my family?

A. A trust serves as your blueprint for what you want your wealth to do. From greater control over your wealth, to tax advantages, to leaving a lasting legacy, we can help you plan and manage your trust to help support the people and causes you care about for generations to come.

Q. What are the different ways I can fund a trust?

A. What you put into a trust and when should vary depending on your finances and goals. As the largest and most experienced trust company based in the Pacific Northwest, we can help you decide what assets to transfer to a trust and when to optimize control, privacy and tax savings.

Q. I want to start a foundation or endowment. Where do I start?

A. It’s best to start by asking the advice of a known expert. At LNWM, we have decades of experience managing foundations and endowments. We can help you create an effective and lasting foundation plan that reflects your goals and values and then manage the assets of your foundation so that it can last and serve the community in a way you intend.

Q. We are an organization that needs help investing its endowment.

A. We can help your organization maximize its potential to serve its community, and to create confidence in its financial future. For decades, LNWM has been providing investment management and financial guidance to some of the Pacific Northwest’s largest nonprofits. In addition, we can advise your Board and staff on fiduciary liability, risk management, new tax laws and regulations, and donor strategies.

Estate Planning

Your concern

How we can help

Q. Why do I need an estate plan if I already have a will?

A. A will can dictate guardianship guidelines and transfer your property and assets. But a will is usually not enough, especially if you have sizable assets and people and causes you want to support long after you are gone. We can help you create an estate plan that includes all the tools and strategies you need – including trusts – to gain greater control, privacy, tax savings and a Plan B should you need it.

Q. What does a good estate plan look like?

A. A comprehensive estate strategy provides great peace of mind.  It includes a will, health directives (including a “living will”) Power of Attorney, and one or more trusts. Each element plays a critical role and works with the others to do many practical things (tax savings, privacy, control) as well as provide a lasting legacy

Q. I want to transfer my wealth to my children and grandchildren over many generations.

A. Since 1967, we have been helping families preserve and grow their wealth over many generations. As part of a comprehensive Estate Plan, we can advise you on the type of trusts(s) that would work best for your situation, and whether you should consider the creation of a family foundation or endowment. We can then manage your trust and/or foundation to have positive impacts far into your family’s and community’s future.

Retirement

Your concern

How we can help

Q. I plan to retire soon. Do I have enough to that comfortably?

A. That depends on many things, including how you well investment portfolio performs, your health, your lifestyle. We can provide you with detailed, expert analysis, well-grounded estimates, and what-if scenarios that will allow to see your big picture. The number you need to retire is as unique as you are. And we will help you find it. Contact us to find out how.

Q. Do I need long-term care insurance?

A. Possibly the biggest unknown in retirement is health care costs. Perhaps you can self-insure or you may need long-term care coverage. We can help you assess all your healthcare coverage options, as well as your projected costs so you can make the decision that’s best for you. We can also help you choose a long-term care insurance policy.

Q. From which accounts should I be withdrawing income and when?

A. Which accounts you withdraw from and when can have a great impact on your wealth plan, your investment management strategy and your tax situation. We can help you create a timeline for tax-efficient withdrawals from all your taxable and tax-deferred accounts.

Q. How can I retire early and well?

A. We can help you answer that question with confidence. Our answer will be based on an in-depth analysis of all that you own, how your finances are structured, and your lifestyle. Our Income Sustainability Analysis will show what spending will look like and where the funds will come from. We will then manage your investment portfolio to provide the growth and income you need for decades to come.  Drop us a line to get started.

Business Ownership

Your concern

How we can help

Q. I own a business and need help managing my personal finances.

A. LNWM was founded — and is still owned — by the Laird and Norton families, now in their 7th generation as successful business owners. Working with business assets, and the dynamics of a business is in our DNA. Since 1967, we’ve accumulated generations of experience and expertise that we can put at your disposal right away. Our advisors can apply a combination of strategies — in wealth planning, investment management, tax and estate planning — to your personal finances so you can make the most of all your assets, including your business.

Q. I am selling a business and want to make the best use of the proceeds for me and my family.

A. For many business owners, the sudden income can be life-changing and requires a good bit of preparation—especially if you’ve historically let your personal finances take a backseat to your business objectives. It can mean new investment strategies, tax planning, wealth management and even changes to your estate plan. We can help you manage the change and optimize your choices for a successful transition.

Q. How can our family business continue into the next generation?

A. Only a third of family firms make it to the second generation, and only 12% to the third. We can help you devise a personal wealth plan intended to sustain your business across many more generations, giving it the consistency and stability it needs to succeed as both a family and a company. We know what it takes: LNWM was founded – and is still owned – by the Laird and Norton families, now in their 7th generation as successful business owners.

Q. How can I transition out of my business?

A. We can help you explore what will work best for you and your family, be it the sale of your business, transfer of ownership to employees or family members or bringing in new management. Just as important: We can suggest financial, tax and estate planning strategies that will allow you to maximize your personal net worth after the transition occurs so you can live the life you want.

Read More about Our Services

Laird Norton Wealth Management can help you simplify, clarify, and bring your ideals to life. We call this Wealth Regeneration®—a more human, more integrated take on your financial life.