Information for Advisors
Part of our data gathering process is discovering who our client’s trusted advisors are. We explain to our clients in our Retainer Agreement that it is important for them to waive their attorney-client privilege as to these individuals. That is critical, as accountants, financial planners, life insurance agents and other professionals may need to be contacted. This is particularly important if your client decides to implement a living trust based plan.
What makes us different from other estate planning attorney firms?
1. Commitment to “fully funding” living trusts.
We strive to make sure each of our clients has a “fully funded” trust. Advisors play an integral part in accomplishing that goal – whether that is changing the title to an asset or up-dating a beneficiary form.
When a new client brings us an existing living trust to review, it is not uncommon to find basic estate assets such as homes and investment accounts remain in individual names. Nor is it uncommon for estate planning attorneys to transfer a client’s real property assets to their trust and then give them instructions to complete the funding process on their own. Unfortunately, that often results in “unfunded” assets and out-dated beneficiary designations The result is often a probate where one could have been avoided. A grieving family member never wants to hear about the need for a probate. For many, the main reason they implemented a living trust in the first place was to avoid probate.
Wright & Wright has a process for funding living trusts which includes a 120 day commitment to our clients to get the funding completed on a timely basis. During that 120 days, our staff up-dates clients as to their progress and encourages them to complete any outstanding funding tasks.
2. What is RCare and why do we have it?
Wright & Wright is one of the few firms in the state of California with a long standing trust maintenance plan. It is not obligatory, and it’s not free. But at $350 a year, we believe it is a bargain.
RCare provides a method for keeping in contact with our clients no less than annually to determine what changes they have experienced that may effect their estate plan. It has proved to be an effective tool for keeping trusts funded and educating our clients on how the funding process works. It also gives the members of our firm the opportunity to get to know our clients well. The result is a higher level of comfort in a crisis – in particular when a loved one becomes disabled or passes away.
Feel welcome to subscribe to our Newsletter. You are cordially invited to attend our EP 101 workshop. You are also welcome to contact us regarding other topical workshops should you wish to have an educational event for your clients or staff.