Estate Planning: Do You Understand Your Plan?

Estate planning for families like yoursWhat anyone hopes their estate planning attorney to do is to help them prioritize; exactly what is important and what is not.

Once a trusts and estates attorney has designed and discussed a client's estate plan, the next step is to implement it. Drafting the documents, creating trusts and other supporting planning documents follows. However, a recent survey of more than 250 wealthy families (defined as those with a net worth of U.S. $10 million or more) found that some wealthy clients put the brakes on the process before implementation. Ask yourself, are they really so different from you? Has your estate planning attorney truly addressed your goals, desires and objectives?

About half of those who responded to the survey felt that their failure to move ahead with planning was because their estate plan was too complicated. While it is true that wealthier clients' plan tend to encorporate more complex strategies to achieve their goals, an experienced trusts and estates lawyer will do more for their clients than simply create an estate plan. They needed a professional who is equally skilled at gauging the clients' ability to cope with the complexity of the planning and to be comfortable with the plan.

Half of the clients say they didn't implement their plans because they were nervous and they didn't feel in control. Fortunately, I have specifically designed my estate planning practice with this in mind. My meetings with my estate planning clients are always complimentary and that invitation extends to their families as well. No plan, no matter how brilliantly designed is going to work if the people that need to implement it either don't understand it or worse, don't believe in the plan's objectives. Based on this study, clients and their attorneys should treat communication and client education as an important part of estate planning process. We can help you with that, call us today to schedule your consultation with the confidence that your plan will work for you and your loved ones.

Reference: Forbes (March 22, 2016) "Why the Wealthy Do Not Implement Their Estate Plans"

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We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
  • Please continue to follow the directives of our local, state, and federal agencies. For your health and in consideration of our team who is assisting you, if you’ve scheduled an office appointment or planned to drop off paperwork and are experiencing a fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care doctor for guidance and then our office to reschedule.

Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.