estate planning

A Letter to My Dad's Financial Planner

Your clients lean on you for their estate planning. This is a big responsibility, and if it's not done right, the consequences are dire.

The following is not an actual letter, but it could be. It reflects the reality and emotions of many people we have met following their parent's death.

Dear Financial Advisor,

As you know, my dad died recently. I know you have been working with him for many years. He valued your relationship, and he looked to you as a trusted advisor.

We just found out that my dad's estate plan, such as it is, is not good. He had a cheap do-it-yourself living trust. The trust is out of date and was not funded. His home and rental property are not in the trust, nor are his large bank accounts.

As a result, my siblings and I will have to take his $2M estate through probate. The probate fees are estimated to be $50,000 - $70,000, and the probate attorney has told us it will take at least one year to finish.

My dad had a check-the-box estate plan, not an estate plan that would actually work.

As his trusted advisor, could you have helped him get an effective estate plan?

I understand that a comprehensive living trust estate plan with an experienced estate planning firm would have cost him $3,000 - $5,000 - a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of probate.

My brother, sister and I have decided to keep our father's non-qualified accounts invested, and after we sell his home, we will invest most of the proceeds. It would have been easy to invest with you, but in all good conscience, we can't.

My husband's parents' financial advisor has set them up with a great estate planning firm that offers to review their estate plan with them and their advisor every year. We value his holistic, forward-thinking approach, so we have decided to invest with him.

Getting your clients an effective, up-to-date estate plan that will protect them and their family does not have to be difficult. We make it easy.  Our attorneys only do estate planning. We are not litigators with an estate planning side hustle. Our attorneys are smart and kind, and will treat your clients like they would want to be treated. We will partner with you to protect your client and your client's family with our simple and efficient estate planning process.

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