Estate planning, when you boil it down, simply determines who gets your assets after you die, how they get them, who gets physical custody of any minor children as well as who will make financial and medical decisions if you cannot. An associated trust potentially eliminates family infighting, permits the creation of extensive conditional or staggered inheritances, minimizes or eliminates tax burdens, guarantees privacy and avoids a lengthy and costly probate process. It is all about you retaining control of your assets and being confident that your wishes will be fulfilled, even after you have gone.
As a personal finance consultant, I often had a problem with optimally fulfilling many of my clients’ estate planning needs. For the more complex cases, the decision was easy, bring in a referred qualified estate attorney, preferably with a speciality in whatever was causing the complexity. But for the non-highly complex cases, I had the choice of either referring them to an estate attorney with whom I was familiar or, in the extremely simple cases, directing them to Legal Zoom or some such website.
The attorney referral, while hopefully ensuring good service, carried enormous frictional problems. It could be burdensome and often excessively costly, especially to a client who only required a common, straightforward, non-complex set of terms in their estate plan. The anticipated high cost and/or idea of introducing another new and unknown professional at a different location into the mix would often cause the client to delay taking the next step , indeed in the worst cases, that delay would be indefinite, the connection would never be made and the estate plan never created.
The online document option, while undoubtedly cheap, almost certainly ensured that the client received an incomplete, over-simplified, un-customized, difficult-to-edit and highly challengeable set of documents - surely a totally false economy for something as important in someone’s life as their legacy and discharging of their responsibilities to their loved ones after they have gone.
Anglia Advisors believes that any personal financial planning without at least a conversation about estate planning is incomplete.
The answer has arrived. As a result of Anglia Advisors’ partnership with two estate planning technology platforms, it is now your familiar, dedicated CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ personal finance consultant with whom you already work who data-gathers and co-ordinates your complete estate plan, not computer-generated directions or a third-party lawyer that you have never met before.
But it is your own advisor that will be gathering your data by means of a simple set of questions that can be asked remotely by phone or video call if necessary, a process that takes just minutes to complete. Remember, much of this information will already be available to your CFP® anyhow. After that, it is then your advisor - not you - that will complete all the co-ordination with the qualified estate planning professionals who will put the plan together in order to ensure that you get the exact estate planning you need in a matter of just a few days.
It is vital to point out that your CFP® will not be performing any legal services. The actual legal work of creating, checking and reviewing the estate plan documentation exactly as you wish and state-specific compliance with all 50 states and DC (including specific language for use in community property states) will be carried out by the qualified and experienced estate planners and attorneys at one of our technology partners.
What documents are included in the package?
Financial Power of Attorney
Medical Power of Attorney/Advance Medical Directives
HIPAA Release Form
Certification of Trust
General Transfer Document
Instructions for Bequests of Tangible Personal Property
Real Estate Property Agreement for community property states***
Real Estate Property Deed ***
*** if needed, may be subject to additional state filing fees in certain states
In the case of a couple engaging for estate planning services, both parties will receive a set of documents at no additional cost.
Future plan reviews and easy updates to the plan going forward as and when your personal or financial circumstances or estate laws change are available for a low fixed fee.
For those clients with an existing estate plan, we can also arrange for your documents to be professionally reviewed by one of our partners’ expert attorneys for a one-time, no commitment, low-cost review fee and and then provide you with a detailed summary and suggestions if needed.
Because of the much higher volumes that can be generated by these tech-driven estate attorney firms by partnering with the already-trusted advisors of their clients and as a result of the extremely high level of technology associated with the process, clients can end up working with just their own fiduciary CFP® at the center of the process to get their estate plan in place and documents drawn up without the costs of directly hiring an estate planning attorney to hold meetings with, conduct all the data gathering and discovery and then perform all the legal work and eventually provide the documents.
For this reason, our plans are far less costly but sacrifice nothing in terms of the top-drawer quality and highly comprehensive nature of the documents which can be drawn up in a manner compliant in any of the 50 states + DC.
And you will certainly end up with a far more customized, appropriate and high quality set of documents than if you had created them on your own on some online website.
Anglia Advisors and our technology partners together want to bring down the cost barrier that results in about 60% of American adults not having any estate documents of any kind in place.
The service is available to Per Hour and Single Session clients or as a standalone service.
Future reviews and ongoing updates to the documentation, which may become required by a change in your personal circumstances or in estate law, are available for a low fixed fee per update.
For a low one-time fee, we can also arrange for a “second set of eyes“ review of any existing will and provide a detailed summary and suggestions and recommendations.
Our estate planning services may not be for everybody, however!
Among the scenarios where we may recommend (and usually be able to make a referral for) the direct services of a local, specialized individual estate attorney instead of our service are:
If the case involves complex layers of “blended” families involving multiple previous marriages that result in disinheritance and/or a high level of potential family conflict with convoluted and highly specific or conditional beneficiary structures
If neither of the parties is a US citizen or a green card holder and/or there are meaningful assets held outside the United States
If either party is resident outside of the US, regardless of nationality
If it is determined or suspected that the estate documents are being prepared for, or meaningfully involve, someone with any suspected degree of diminished mental capacity
The presence of complex and convoluted business ownerships or financial asset structures, especially including significant overseas business or business asset ownership
If the asset level is high enough that there is likely to be federal or state estate tax liability under current legislation
If it is deemed that there may be an unacceptably high risk of future estate litigation as a result of the terms of the plan, family dynamics or any other reason
If we determine that the circumstances of the case or the contents of the documentation exceed the level of complexity that we feel comfortable being involved in and able to confidently advise upon