LEGACY PLANNING CREATES LASTING EFFECTIVE THOUGHTFUL HARMONIOUS MULTI-GENERATIONAL WEALTH TRANSFER
"LEGACY" planning is a multi-generational planning approach that uses TRADITIONAL ESTATE PLANNING and DELIBERATE FAMILY PLANNING to create smoother transitions of wealth, less family conflict, and the effective transfer of family values and leadership.
A legacy is what you leave behind to heirs and loved ones: assets, possessions, instructions, etc. but—more importantly—it’s your values and life lessons that can help subsequent generations navigate their lives and manage the inheritance you’ve worked so hard to provide them.
ROY WILLIAMS and VIC PRESSER
"Preparing Heirs: Five Steps to a Successful Transition of Family Wealth and Values."
Why are we so reluctant to plan for what we know is certain to occur? Because dealing with our own mortality can be unsettling, and it’s easy to give in to the temptation to focus only on the here and now and procrastinate about that which we’d prefer to ignore. But, there are no good reasons for not having at least a basic estate plan in place, regardless of your age or health or any other factors (excuses) you have to delay. As an adult, it’s your fundamental responsibility to avoid leaving a mess for your family to clean up while they grieve the loss of you. We’ve all heard the horror stories—don’t go out like that.
TRADITIONAL ESTATE PLANNING TOOLS
- SEPARATE TRUST
- JOINT TRUST
- MARITAL TRUST
- FAMILY TRUST
- FAMILY CREDIT SHELTER TRUST
- MARITAL QTIP TRUST
- QUALIFIED DOMESTIC TRUST
- GENERATION SKIPPING TRUST
- INCENTIVE TRUST
- SPENDTHRIFT TRUST
- SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST
- CHARITABLE REMAINDER TRUST
- SPOUSAL LIFETIME ACCESS TRUST
- QUALIFIED PERSONAL RESIDENCE TRUST
- IRREVOCABLE LIFE INSURANCE TRUST
- STAND ALONE RETIREMENT TRUST
- HORSE TRUST
- PET TRUST
- DEED TRANSFERS
- TRUST FUNDING & ASSET ALIGNMENT
WILL-BASED PLANNING vs. TRUST-BASED PLANNING
- Will requires probate
- Less time to draft now
- More time to probate later (6 to 18+ months)
- Costs less money to draft now ($1000-$1500)
- Costs more money to probate later
- Assets are frozen upon your death
- Eventually transfers assets to heirs
- Names guardians for your children
- Effective only upon death
- Does not include incapacity provisions
- Not private (read publicly in court)
- Matter of public record
- Court supervision (possibly lengthy)
- Less control over your estate
- No family planning
- Trust does not require probate
- Pour-over will may require quick probate
- More time to draft now
- Less time to administer later
- Costs more money to draft now ($2000-$8000)
- Costs less money to administer later
- Assets are available during life and immediately after death
- Assets transferred automatically
- Uses Dependent Stability Plan to name standby guardians
- Effective immediately
- Includes incapacity provisions
- Trust is private
- Pour-over will is public record (minimal information released)
- No court supervision
- More control over your estate
- Opportunity for deliberate family planning
WHICH PLAN IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
Most people don’t consider the possibility that passing on their intangible assets—memories, values, and wisdom—can be done on purpose. We all hope our heirs inherit our brilliance by osmosis, but let’s not leave it to chance. This kind of asset transfer can be achieved deliberately through a number of family planning tools.
DELIBERATE FAMILY PLANNING TOOLS
YOUR FAMILY HAS A BRAND
Together we will clarify your family’s “brand.” That may sound very corporate, but your brand already exists; you unknowingly built it. I presume you’ve just never thought of it that way—think about it now. The traits, beliefs, goals, and morals that are shared among you define a family’s brand as much as money defines a family’s wealth. Your brand should be values-based and serve as the foundation of your legacy.
Think about it. Is your family brand centered around volunteerism and charitable giving, or perhaps education and innovation? Or, is it based on the family business? Does it prioritize the arts or place a high value on travel? Clarifying your family brand and determining how you’d like it to continue can help us develop a legacy plan that will ensure the next generation continues to nurture the brand you (and generations before you) have built.
ARE YOUR CHILDREN PREPARED FOR THEIR INHERITANCE?
Children should learn about the responsibilities of wealth. Wealth is a gift that can open doors of opportunity for your children, their children, and potentially generations to come. But wealth can be a weighty responsibility that takes time to manage, maintain, and preserve. If you are a parent, you are no doubt concerned about the effects of wealth on your children’s values. Do you worry about how they will manage the money you pass on to them as they mature into adulthood? During legacy planning, you have the opportunity to offer guidance (and even dictate) the values-based money management you want for the next generation.
Have you had "the talk" yet? Would you like some help?
You will have the opportunity to conduct a family meeting in the later phase of the legacy planning process. The family meeting provides a time for you to convey as much of your legacy plan as you would like, work together to solidify your brand, and offer direction on how your loved ones can best prepare to navigate the estate you will be passing on to them.
If you reach out via phone, email, or through this website’s contact form, I’ll chat with you briefly and then direct you to my scheduling page so that you can pick a convenient time for our 30-minute Legacy Plan Initial Consultation. If you’d like, you can skip the Meet & Greet and go straight to the scheduling page.
The legacy planning process starts with an initial complimentary 30-minute meeting, which you can schedule online here. Once you schedule your appointment, I will email you a client registration form to fill out online (you must complete this form prior to our Initial Meeting).
We will use these 30 minutes to:
get to know each other a bit
go over the answers you entered on your registration form
discuss your needs and goals
address any initial questions or concerns you might have
schedule your Design Meeting
discuss your preparation for the Design Meeting (see Note below)
Note: After our Initial Meeting, I will email you a form to fill out (you can complete it online or feel free to print it out). Along with this form, I will send you a list of documents I’ll need you to collect for me to complete the estate planning portion of your legacy plan. This includes things like previously executed estate plans, property deeds, marital agreements, LLC operating agreements, and the like. You must submit this form and these documents to me (digital or hard copy) no later than one week before your Design Meeting.
If you don’t have an existing legacy plan, the goal of the Design Meeting is to set out the details of your estate plan. To do this well, you will need to submit your preparatory documents to me at least one week prior to your appointment so that I can be best prepared to advise you on your specific wants and needs.
We will discuss various options regarding your wishes for how you want your tangible property distributed, who will make financial decisions for you if you become incapacitated or pass away, who will advocate for your medical needs, who will care for your children, and much more. We will discuss various choices and I’ll make recommendations based on your particular situation. At the end of the meeting, we’ll have a clear blueprint that I will use to build you a comprehensive estate plan.
Once the design of your estate plan is complete, we will discuss the second component of your legacy: your deliberate family plan. This plan is the best way to ensure a smooth, conflict-free transfer of both your tangible and intangible assets. Together, we will go over the various planning tools and decide which ones you would like to employ.
If you do have an existing estate or legacy plan, we will review it and discuss your desired changes. We will determine whether an Amendment or Restatement is more appropriate.
If you have them, we will review your:
- Prenup/Marital Agreement
- Estate Plan
- Advanced Directive/Living Will
- Financial Powers of Attorney
- Healthcare Powers of Attorney
- HIPAA Authorizations
- Business Succession Plan
- Life Insurance Plan
- Retirement Plan
- Deliberate Family Plan
Note: The Design Meeting typically takes 2 to 4 hours (often depending on how prepared you are). Please plan accordingly.
The next time we meet will be to review the documents that make up your estate plan. We will go through the documents together and ensure that you understand them and that they achieve your goals. At this time, we will discuss any remaining questions and mark any necessary changes. Once the review is complete, we will schedule your Signing Meeting and your Legacy Interview.
The Signing Meeting is our final “formal” meeting and the moment you will sign all of the documents that make up your estate plan. Your documents will be witnessed and notarized, then I will take them back to my office to digitize them.
Note: You do not receive your estate planning documents at this meeting because I still need to digitize them.
After your Signing Meeting, we will conduct your Legacy Interview (on the same day or another day that is convenient for you). A Legacy Interview involves you and me sitting down together so that you can share your stories and I can record them for your family.
I know it probably seems off-putting to tell your personal stories to a relative stranger, but don’t worry—by this time I will be a trusted confidant. Plus, I do this all the time when I interview top riders for EQuine AMerica Magazine, and those conversations always flow easily.
One week before the interview, I will send you a “guide” that will outline our conversation and help you informally prepare. This is also a good time to collect your photos and historic documents for digitizing (if you choose to take advantage of that service).
Note: The video component of this interview may also serve as proof of your mental capacity at the time of making your estate plan.
If you elect for me to complete your trust funding and asset alignment, I will do so at this phase of the legacy planning process. If you do not elect for me to complete your trust funding and asset alignment for you, we will discuss how you must do so at the end of the signing meeting. We will go over instructions to assist you in handling all of your assets, retitling each of your accounts, and updating all of your beneficiary designations. You must complete your trust funding and asset alignment prior to the Family Meeting.
Note: If you own real estate that needs to be retitled, I will ensure that your deeds are properly recorded. Once the deeds are recorded, I will provide you with the originals.
Family engagement in the deliberate family planning process is the key to your legacy’s ultimate success. Through the Family Meeting, you have the ability to take charge of your family brand and shape it intentionally by utilizing specific tools to define and communicate the values that matter most to you. This is the time to implement the family planning tools discussed during the Design Meeting. The power and longevity of your family brand will be a reflection of how effectively you communicate these values and instill them in the next generation.
The Family Meeting also provides you the opportunity to discuss as much of your plan as you would like to share in an effort to prepare your loved ones for future responsibilities. This is a good time to introduce your lawyer (me) and to discuss particulars like where to locate your critical documents, who holds powers of attorney and HIPAA authorizations, who takes leadership of the family business, etc. Discussing this with your family in advance will considerably lessen the burden, confusion, and opportunity for conflict that often occurs at a time when they should be left in peace to grieve.
You can use this time to prepare and educate your children for what lies ahead, whether it be managing wealth or being a good human being—preferably both.
Note: At your Family Meeting, you will receive a binder containing your estate plan documents (originals) and a record of your asset alignment (if I completed it for you). You will also receive a USB drive containing all documents (uneditable). I will retain digital copies of all documents.
You don’t just need a legacy plan, you need peace of mind. All too often, a legacy plan that is entirely effective at the time it was drafted becomes woefully out of date by the time it’s needed. The law is ever-changing, and inevitably families and assets change, too. I believe that an ongoing relationship is necessary to ensure your legacy plan is accurate, your loved ones are kept updated and informed, and your family remains “on brand.” To accomplish this, I recommend we review your legacy plan and asset alignment annually.
Note: If you elect to take advantage of my legacy sustainment plan, your legacy plan will be reviewed and updated* annually (without your having to remember to request it).
*Major updates beyond those needed to remain aligned with current law may incur an additional fee.
WHICH PLAN IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
Worked with Carina for "horse stuff" - think contracts, etc. She's very responsive, and makes the process easy and transparent.Chase R.
Carina has been such a pleasure to work with as we have built and honed our training/boarding business. She is very detail oriented, kind and easy to work with. She has first hand experience in the horse industry which gives her great insight. I have found her suggestions and observations to be very helpful.Olivia L.
Carina is an exceptional counselor. We share a professional relationship but she also assisted me with my own military med board claim and counseled me throughout. Her input was invaluable. I would have missed many things without her experience and expertise. She is responsive and professional as well. I highly recommend Carina.Jason M.
Carina's firm has been integral to understanding the complexities of operating an elite-level boarding and training facility. She has consistently come forward with advice, commentary, and well-cited case law that helps us navigate the complexities of a professional facility. Carina is a rarity in the legal profession both formal and reasonable at the same time she has helped us navigate the grey areas of equestrian operations with confidence, addressing risk and simultaneously minimizing overhead.Eliot D.
Carina worked tirelessly to ensure my plan was exactly how I wanted it to be for my blended family. If 2020 has shown us nothing else, it's that we don't know what the future will bring and I needed to make sure my children were taken care of personally and financially. Carina made sure of that!Frank T.
Carina has specialized knowledge of the equine industry and has provided me invaluable personal and professional advice. I highly recommend her to any equestrian professional seeking legal guidance. She was an instrumental part of my initial business setup. She carefully prepared my liability release forms and boarding, training, sales, and shipping contracts. Now she's working with me on horse syndication. Her expertise and diligence give me such peace of mind. With her support, I was able to focus on the many other aspects of my new endeavor.Lisa H.
Carina took wonderful care of me. I had an estate plan already in place, but when COVID-19 hit, I got worried that it wasn't up-to-date—and it WASN'T. Carina dedicated plenty of time to go over my changes and built me a new, comprehensive estate plan, including my will, trusts, powers of attorney, HIPAA releases, etc. Her attention to detail is incredible. She made sure to protect me from every eventuality to ensure my estate is left to my loved ones exactly the way I want it to be.Susan N.