Lara Sass & Associates, PLLC is pleased to offer Estate Planning Maintenance Programs in response to a very large and pervasive problem that we find very troubling.
Our clients all feel a great sense of accomplishment after executing their estate planning documents. However, it is not uncommon for them to file these documents away and forget about them, sometimes for many years, sometimes permanently. Despite our advice to the contrary, many often believe that their estate planning matters require no further attention.
Estate plans are not time capsules to be opened and rummaged through at some distant point in the future. To the contrary, proactive steps need to be taken to continually review and revise estate plans, from the moment they are signed, in order to ensure that they comply with changes in the law and major life events, such as marriage, the birth of a child, divorce, a new business venture, a major illness, etc. The problem is that individuals do not take the time or make the effort to modify their estate plans. There are a number of reasons for this, including the perceived cost of redoing an estate plan, as well as the often difficult decisions that need to be made. However, the biggest reason that many people neglect to update their estate plans is that their advisors have failed to bring it to their attention. The Estate Planning Maintenance Programs are our way of facilitating this ongoing process with our clients each year, in order to avoid the family disputes and diminished legacies that inevitably result from an outdated estate plan.
Our aim is to be the advisor that guarantees that our clients are being attentive and keeping their estate plans current, in order to ensure that their objectives continue to be met and to make life a lot less complicated for their loved ones. The Estate Planning Maintenance System provides our clients with access to their own secure digital archive (almost like an electronic safety-deposit box) containing all of their vital estate planning documents, information regarding their final wishes and funeral arrangements, important accounts and passwords, and any other information or instructions that they or their family members may need to easily obtain from anywhere in the world. Our clients can designate who will have access to which documents, and feel secure knowing that their private matters will be easily taken care of by the right people in an emergency or after they are gone.
If amendments need to be made to our client's estate planning documents, they will be charged only for our hourly time to make such changes, not for the cost of a new document or estate plan. The annual fees associated with these services are a tiny fraction of what our clients can save in estate taxes and legal fees with a plan that both continuously comports with the most current (and ever-changing) gift and estate tax laws and provides ease of administration to their loved ones. More importantly, it is a small price to pay for an annual check-up to ensure that our client's estate plans meet their objectives, to avoid family disputes over outdated plans, and to make life less complicated for their inheritors.
The Trust Services are designed to offer peace of mind and turn-key administration to grantors and trustees with respect to often-burdensome gifting matters, including annual assessment of the gifting plan and preparation of gift funding notices, premium notices and Crummey notices. For the family with complex planning issues, the Legacy Planning Services offer an opportunity for an annual meeting with all of the client’s advisors, including accountants, financial advisors and insurance brokers, as well as a meeting with the family to integrate children in wealth planning and preservation.
1. ESTATE PLANNING MAINTENANCE SERVICES
For the client who wants his or her estate planning documents to always accurately reflect his or her life, family circumstances, assets and the current state of the law, to ensure that (i) loved ones have as easy a time as possible after he or she is gone, (ii) his or her assets will never be lost to the state, and (iii) Lara Sass & Associates, PLLC wills always be available for legal guidance at any time.
Annual estate plan review to ensure plan and designated fiduciaries always work given changes in law and life
Access to secure, digital archive of everything your loved ones will need should something happen to you, including Wills, trusts, health care proxies, living wills; important accounts and passwords; final wishes and funeral preferences; and more. 24-7 online access to health care proxies and living wills from anywhere in the world in the event of an emergency
Annual review of assets and update of asset spreadsheet to ensure that (i) asset ownership and beneficiary designations are consistent with estate plan, (ii) loved ones know what to look for when you are gone, and (iii) none of your assets end up as part of New York State’s unclaimed property division
Ask us unlimited legal or financial questions for peace of mind. Unlimited access to our trusted team of legal and financial experts (often with discounted fees, as we do not take referral fees).
2. TRUST SERVICES
For the client who has one or more life insurance trusts, 2503(c) trusts or Crummey trusts, and wants to ensure that his or her estate planning documents always work, assets are never lost to the state and trust assets are never subject to estate tax. This plan offers peace of mind to grantors and trustees, knowing that trusts are compliant for gift and estate tax purposes. Provides preparation and delivery of:
Annual gift funding notices for insurance trusts, 2503(c) trusts and Crummey trusts
Crummey notices for trust beneficiaries (or their guardians) on behalf of Trustees of life insurance trusts and Crummey trusts
Premium reminders for Grantors of life insurance trusts
Annual assessment of overall gifting plan to maximize use of gift and estate tax exemptions, which could save hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more) for your loved ones
Recordkeeping of all gifts.
3. LEGACY PLANNING SERVICES
For the family with complex planning issues, this service offers an opportunity for an annual meeting with all of the client’s advisors, as well as a meeting to integrate children in wealth planning and preservation.
Annual opportunity capture meeting with Lara Sass & Associates, PLLC, tax advisor, financial advisor and any other advisors chosen by client
Annual family meeting to integrate adult children into estate planning and prepare them to receive wealth.
Please contact Lara Sass & Associates, PLLC to learn more about our Estate Planning Maintenance Program or to register for these services.