LEGACY PLANNING CREATES LASTING EFFECTIVE THOUGHTFUL HARMONIOUS MULTI-GENERATIONAL WEALTH TRANSFER

Build a legacy for your family.
Protect your child's future.
Pass on more than money.
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"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. butmore importantlyit’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."

Traditional Estate Planning
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 reasons (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

Trust funds: they’re not just for the wealthy. . . Net worth is a very small component when considering whether to establish a trust fund in an estate plan. The key determinants are your estate planning goals and then to understand if a trust fund will help accomplish those goals.

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WILLS vs. TRUSTS

  • Requires probate
  • Less time to draft now
  • More time to probate later (6 to 18+ months)
  • Costs less to draft now ($1500-$2500)
  • Costs more to probate later
  • Does not include incapacity
  • Effective only upon death
  • Assets are frozen
  • Assets eventually transferred to heirs
  • No asset protection
  • Names guardians for your children
  • Not private/Matter of public record
  • Court supervision
  • Less control over your estate
  • No deliberate family planning
  • Avoids/Minimizes probate
  • More time to draft now
  • Less time to administer later
  • Costs more to draft now ($3000-$5000+)
  • Costs less to administer later
  • Includes incapacity provisions
  • Effective immediately
  • Assets are transferred automatically
  • Assets are available immediately
  • Opportunity for asset protection
  • Dependent Stability Plan™
  • Private
  • No court supervision
  • Greater control over your estate
  • Comprehensive deliberate family planning

WHICH PLAN IS RIGHT FOR YOU?

Deliberate Family Planning

69% of people say they most want to be remembered for memories shared with loved ones.

2016-2018 STUDY BY MERRILL LYNCH
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

  • Ethical will
  • Legacy interview
  • Letters to loved ones
  • Specific bequests
  • Write your own obituary
  • Plan your own funeral
  • Family meeting
  • Create a family charitable foundation
  • Determine a family mission statement
  • Develop a code of conduct
  • Create a family motto
  • Transfer leadership

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. 

87% of Americans age 55 and over say it's a parent's responsibility to initiate a conversation with their children about their legacy.

2016-2018 STUDY BY MERRILL LYNCH

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.
The Legacy Planning Process
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 Consultation).
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

  • decide which legacy plan best meets your needs and goals

  • schedule your Design Meeting

  • discuss your preparation for the Design Meeting (see Note below)

Note: After your Initial Consultation, I will email you an Estate Planning Worksheet to fill out (you can complete it online, as a fillable PDF, or feel free to print it out). The Worksheet will prompt you to submit certain documents to me, including 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 1 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
  • Family Plan
Note: The Design Meeting typically takes 2 to 4 hours to complete (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 in a very informal way. You can share your stories, values, lessons-learned, advice, and anything else you’d like to say to your loved ones while I record our meeting via audio or video. This recording will be included as a file on the USB you will receive from me in your Legacy Plan binder.
Note: I know it probably seems off-putting right now to tell your personal stories to a relative stranger, but don’t worry, by this time, I’ll be a trusted confidant.
One week before the Legacy 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: If you choose to have our meeting recorded on video, this interview may also serve as proof of your mental capacity at the time of making your estate plan.
Trust funding can be accomplished in 3 ways:
  1. I can fund it for you for an additional fee (0.25% of all assets funded).
  2. I can connect you with a trusted financial advisor who can assist you with funding your trust and provide additional financial advice, if desired.
  3. You can fund it yourself using the written instructions I will provide you.
Note: All 3 options require some involvement by you because only you can change your banking documents.
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 written instructions to assist you in handling all of your assets, retitling each of your accounts, and updating all of your beneficiary designations. Your trust must be funded correctly for your trust to operate as planned. If you skip this step, your trust will fail.
Note: If you own real estate that needs to be retitled, I will do that during this time.  
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.
At your Family Meeting, you will also 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 (uneditable) documents. I will retain digital copies of all documents in secure digital document storage.
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).
*Includes minor updates and updates needed to remain aligned with current law. Major changes may incur an additional fee. Click here to learn more: legacy sustainment plan.

WHICH PLAN IS RIGHT FOR YOU?

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