How We Help

Clients come to us for a multitude of reasons.

Here’s How We Help

Solutions that Work for You

What’s top-of-mind for you? When we first meet with potential clients, it is often because they have a specific question or concern. Below is a sampling of issues that cause people and families with significant wealth to reach out to LNW. We’d love to talk about how we can help with these or any other concerns you might have. 

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Q. We have many different investment portfolios and are unsure about how much risk we’ve taken on. Can you help us understand, and if necessary, lower the risk so we don’t have to worry about it. 

A.  Risk management is a key focus of our work, and we believe it is essential to preserving and growing wealth. We can assess your investments in both the public and private markets and provide estimates for price volatility, liquidity and return potential. We can then advise on what adjustments we would make to bring these and other variables to levels that you are comfortable with. In the process, we can also help you streamline your finances by combining, transferring or rolling over accounts.  

Q. I need our investment portfolios to generate higher income but also a reliable amount of income.

A. Reliable Income is often thought of as less income. That is not necessarily true, especially for large portfolios. With the appropriate asset allocation, risk management and investment strategies, you may be surprised by the level of reliable income your portfolio(s) can generate. 

Q. We want to invest our family wealth in line with our values and to positively impact society.

A. LNW is a leader in impact investing, whichfocuses on generating both a financial return and material societal benefits. We believe that by choosing to invest in companies that operate sustainably, you can mitigate risk while also potentially enhancing return. Applying a variety of strategies and solutions, we can activate your portfolios to drive positive change in the areas you care about most and provide detailed reporting on progress. 

Q. I want to at least double the value of my investment portfolio every 10 years. Can you help me with that? 

A.  Return at LNW is always viewed in context of risk.At LNW, we do not start by targeting a specific return. Instead, we first set risk parameters that are suitable for your situation and invest to target the highest rate of return for that level of risk. LNW portfolios consist of those investments we think offer the most promising risk/return tradeoffs for each client, including both the public and private markets and via alternative assets such as hedge funds. Our aim is to keep you invested profitably and comfortably. Let’s talk about how we do that.

Q. I have received a very large 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. LNW 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.

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Lifetime and Family Wealth Planning

Q. I am going through a contentious divorce and need expert financial advice. How can you help?

A. LNW can serve as your financial and wealth advisor throughout the divorce proceedings (before, during and after), based on decades of experience helping existing and new clients through divorce and many other major life transitions. After working to gain a full understanding of your needs and goals, we will assess and analyze what would work best for you financially, advise your attorney(s) accordingly, and then put in place an optimal investment and wealth plan for your new life, as well as help to update your estate plan

Q. I want to preserve my family’s wealth over many generations to create a family legacy.

A. LNW’s wealth and estate planning services can align your family’s assets to support a legacy that will last for many generations. Since 1967, we have been helping families put in place the optimal tools and strategies, including trusts and philanthropic giving, designed to support their values, family needs and aspirations over multiple generations and even hundreds of years. 

Q. I want to make sure my wealth can fund the many plans I have for me and my extended family as well as my lifestyle.

A. People and families with significant wealth can benefit greatly from detailed income sustainability that runs decades into the future and is updated regularly. This can provide you with ongoing confidence in spending levels, major new investments/purchases as well as inform estate strategies. Just as important, your investment portfolio at LNW will reflect your current and projected income needs, your goals, and tolerance for risk.

Q. A big chunk of my compensation is in stock options and my partner has a lot of restricted stock units (RSUs). Should we have a sell schedule?

A. We have decades of experience advising on equity compensation in its many forms – RSUs, RSAs, and various types of options. Our analysis centers on your situation and goals and includes selling and tax strategies, ownership vehicles, and contingency planning.

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 large, 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. Our philanthropic planning experts can help you accomplish all of that. 

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Tax Planning

Q. I was surprised to see all that I pay in investment taxes annually. Can you help me invest more tax-efficiently

A. A tax tune-up for your portfolio is the place to start. We can show you how your portfolio could minimize investment taxes through capital gains and income strategies. And then we go further. We can analyze your entire asset base for opportunities to maximize after-tax return, including through the use of trusts and tax-advantaged accounts.

Q. How can you help 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 consistently applied 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 other 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. LNW trust planning experts can help you explore all the options.  

Q. Is my estate plan making the most of current tax laws and regulations? 

A. The amount you can leave to 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. LNW experts in tax and estate planning can advise you on the most optimal strategies available now to transfer wealth efficiently to future generations. 

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Trusts, Foundations, and Endowments

Q. What are the advantages of using LNW to manage our family trusts?  

A. LNW has operated a trust company since 1967, and we have a great deal of experience planning trusts and managing them as corporate trustee or co-trustee. Importantly, we have two LNW trust companies that can serve as trustee, allowing you more options when it comes to privacy, longevity and control over trust assets. Whatever your goals and aspirations for your family wealth, we can help turn them into reality, including through the effective use of trusts.

Q. Can you advise me on the best ways to fund a trust and on the terms?

A. Definitely. The LNW trust services team can advise you, and the attorney drafting the trust documents, on optimal ways to fund the trust as well as many other considerations to optimize control, privacy, tax-efficiency and expediency. One of the LNW trust companies would then serve as the trustee or co-trustee to carry out your intent. 

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

A.  We can help you evaluate whether a foundation or endowment is in fact the right vehicle for what you want to accomplish, applying our decades of experience advising foundations and endowments. Once established, we can manage the assets committed to your foundation/endowment to maximize longevity in line with the mission.

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

A. We can help maximize your organizations’ potential to serve its community, and to create confidence in its financial future. For decades, LNW has been providing investment management and financial guidance to major nonprofits. In addition, we can advise your Board and staff on fiduciary liability, risk management, new tax laws and regulations, and donor strategies.

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Estate Planning

Q. I am very busy, a lifelong do-it-yourselfer, and I hate paperwork. So I have put off estate planning, although I do have a will and joint titling on major assets to avoid probate. Am I missing out on anything?

A. Most likely you are. Especially for multigenerational wealth, a will and joint ownership are usually not the most effective ways to transfer assets. We can explore with you what a comprehensive estate plan, including trusts, can provide in terms of control over your assets, privacy, tax-efficiency and a contingency plan while you are alive, should you need it.

Q. We have an estate plan in place but not sure how well it’ll work. 

A. For LNW clients, we routinely review and assess whether their estate plan is working as it should and what might be missing. Our ultimate goal is for your estate plan to provide great peace of mind because you have a great deal of confidence in what it will do for you and yours. We can consult with you and your attorney/CPA to put in place an estate plan whose every component aligns with the others to achieve what you want in terms of tax savings, privacy, control, expediency, contingency planning, as well as create a lasting legacy

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

A. Since 1967, we have been helping families with significant wealth preserve and grow their assets 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.

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Q. I plan to retire soon after a major liquidity event.  Can you help me figure out how to effectively deploy my time and money?

A. There are many variables to consider, some of them unknowns. We can provide you with detailed, expert analysis, well-grounded estimates, and what-if scenarios that will allow to see your big picture over the many years you are likely to be retired. This includes where you want to live, to what you want to devote your time, skills, energy, and how you want to support the people and causes you care about most. The number you need to accomplish your goals is as unique as you are.  

Q. Can you help us assess our insurance coverage to ensure we are well-protected and not overpaying for coverage? 

A. If you have significant wealth, optimal insurance coverage is a must, even if you can afford to self-insure. We can help you assess what you have in place now, what might be missing, and work with insurance providers that serve high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth clients to put in place the amount of coverage that is right for you. 

Q. I have many different banking and investment accounts. What is a good strategy for making withdrawals 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. I have significant assets and want to retire soon but the assets are not liquid. Can you help me retire early and well?

A. Definitely. The strategies we advise for you will be based on an in-depth analysis of all that you own, how your finances are structured, your lifestyle and the most efficient way to gain the necessary liquidity. Our income sustainability analysis can then show you with high probability what is sustainable in terms of funding your lifestyle and major planned purchases/expenses as well as funding sources. We can then manage your investment portfolio to provide a targeted level of growth and income in line with your goals.  Drop us a line to get started.

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Business Ownership

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

A. LNW was founded — and is still majority owned — by the Laird and Norton families, now in their eighth generation as successful business owners. Since 1967, we’ve accumulated generations of experience and expertise that we can put at your disposal right away. Our advisors, many of whom are owners in our business, 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 changes to your estate plan. We can help you manage the change and optimize your choices for a successful transition.

Q. Can you help us keep our family business in the family for generations to come? 

A. Relatively few family owned enterprises succeed beyond the third generation of owners. We can help you assess ownership structures and strategies intended to sustain your business across many more generations, providing the consistency and stability required to thrive as both a family and a company. We know what it takes: LNW was founded – and is still owned – by the Laird and Norton families, now in their eighth 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.

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