skills for the estate planning process

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THOUGHTS
ABOUT
THE ESTATE
PLANNING
PROCESS
Presented by:
Mary E. Vandenack, Esq.
Parsonage Vandenack Williams LLC
5332 S. 138th Street
Omaha, NE 68137
(402) 504-1300
[email protected]
www.pvwlaw.com
© 2009 Parsonage Vandenack Williams LLC
For more information, contact [email protected]
Mary E. Vandenack
Mary E. Vandenack is a founding member of the law firm of Parsonage
Vandenack Williams LLC. Mary practices in the inter-related areas of tax,
business, real estate, health care and estate and business succession
planning. Mary excels at dealing with the issues of closely held businesses
(whether an international operation or a one person shop). In the health
care arena, Mary regularly represents physicians, physician organizations,
health care facilities, group health plans, ambulatory surgery centers,
billing companies, pharmaceutical companies, and specialty health care
providers. In the general business arena, Mary has significant experience
working with real estate developers, real estate investors, real estate
management companies, contractors, and companies in the telecommunications, information technology, construction, engineering, agribusiness, financial, and manufacturing industries. Mary's work with closely
held businesses and their owners has also provided numerous
opportunities to provide service involving complex estate planning
strategies as well as in the non-profit area.
Mary graduated magna cum laude from Creighton University School of
Law in 1992, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Creighton Law
Review, won a Domestic Moot Court competition as Best Oral
Advocate, and was inducted into the Alpha Sigma Nu Honor Society. Mary
received her Bachelors Degree in Business and Accounting, summa cum
laude, from College of Saint Mary.
Recently, Mary was nominated as a “Woman of Distinction in Omaha
Business” and was named one of Omaha’s Best Dressed Professionals by
Strictly Business Magazine. Mary is featured in Metro Magazine bimonthly regarding estate planning topics.
Mary regularly speaks and writes in her practice areas. Mary is active in
the national bar association promoting the use of technology in the
practice of law and in improving the cost effectiveness and efficiency of
legal services. In addition, Mary is a member of various task forces
promoting changes in legislation and regulations governing tax, business
and health care.
In her spare time, Mary shares her love for health and wellness by
teaching aerobics, weight training, pilates, and yoga to adults, seniors and
children.
The Estate Planning
Team

The exact team depends
on estate size,
complexity, and
particular issues of the
estate.
Team members may
include the following:

Attorney
CPA
Investment Manager
Banker
Insurance Agent
Trust Officer
Non profit Manager

Key Business Manager







Member of Clergy or Other
Confidante
The Estate Planning
Team

For very large estates,
some investment
management firms and
major banks have
individuals whose sole
role is to quarterback the
overall team
The Estate Planning
Team

For the smaller estate,
less professionals may be
involved and roles will
have more overlap.
Investment Management
Options





Family Business Office
Various Advisors with
different types of expertise
Manager of Managers
Individual Manager
Estate Structure and the
client are key to
determining the fit
Attorney and
Accountant


Ascertain knowledge and
experience related to
estate planning
Estate planning requires a
wide variety of specialized
knowledge
The Estate Planning
Team

A good estate planning
team includes a
quarterback and a
client-focused team
When to Review Your
Estate Plan






A move to another state
A significant change in
assets (including an
inheritance)
A change in family
situation
Retirement
Law changes
At least every three years
The “Issues” in the Estate
Planning Process




Aging, Illness, Disability
Death
Children
Money
Key Skills in Managing the
Estate Planning
Process

Recognizing the
Emotional Impact of the
Issues
Key Skills in Managing the
Estate Planning
Process
Understand the Client

•
•
The Client’s Desired Plan
Define the Goals
Key Skills in Managing the
Estate Planning
Process
Get to know the client

•
•
A client is unlikely to share
the details of his or her
child’s drug abuse
problems with a girl in a
suit at a first meeting.
Establish rapport. If
rapport is unachievable, be
willing to involve someone
else.
Key Skills in Managing the
Estate Planning Process
Know the deterrents to
the estate planning
process and how to
manage them

•
•
•
•
•
•
Costs
Results are intangible
Emotional impact of confronting
death now
Personal time expenditure
Proper planning is detailed and
complex
Estate planning is about death,
money and family
Key Skills in Managing the
Estate Planning Process
Identify the goals that are most important to the
client. Some possibilities are:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Provide for client
for balance of
his/her life
Provide for
spouse or
partner
Provide for
children
Provide for
grandchildren
Education of
children,
grandchildren
Protect a family
business
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Asset Distribution
Provide for heirs
with special
needs
Provide for a pet
Make a gift to
charity
Asset protection
Medicaid
planning
Disability
planning
Minimize death
taxes
Minimize
administration
expenses
Key Skills in Managing the
Estate Planning Process
Skills needed to work
with the emotional
aspects of the process

•
The word “counselor”
applies

•
•
•
•
Do not get emotionally involved
Listening
Awareness
Experience is irreplaceable
in the process. If you
don’t have it, include it on
the team.
Acceptance
Key Skills in Managing the
Estate Planning Process
Skills needed generally

•
•
•
•
•
•
Have your own house in order
Knowledge of the Estate Planning
Process and its tools
Have lots of
contacts/relationships/resources
regarding tax, investment, real estate,
accounting, business, insurance,
valuation, charitable techniques, etc.
You can’t be everything to everyone
so have the resources to create a
team that can be everything
Ability to explain complex topics in
simple terms in a matter of fact way
Use written explanations and visual
aids (flowcharts, spreadsheets) all the
time
Key Skills in Managing the
Estate Planning Process
Dealing with Team Members

•
•
•
•
•
The quarterback should be the one who
has the ability to stay totally focused on
client goals and who can lead the rest of
the team to plan in a way that
accomplishes the goals
Define roles clearly, in writing
Determine who should be included in what
aspects of the process and communicate
about that. Every meeting does not
require every team member
Follow through and follow up
Recognize inherent biases
Key Skills in Managing the
Estate Planning Process
Dealing with Family
Members
Key focus is the client whose
estate is being planned

•
•
Family members should
generally not be included
early in the planning
process unless there is a
specific reason
Get to know family
dynamics before jumping
in
ESTATE PLANNING
TOOLS










Basic will
Probate avoidance trust
“Living Trust”
• Credit shelter planning
• QTIP planning
Power of attorney for legal issues
Advance directives
• Power of attorney for health care
• Declaration
Trusts for minors
Educational accounts
Custodial accounts
Premarital Agreements
Special Needs Trusts
ESTATE PLANNING
TOOLS














Family Foundations
Retirement Accounts
Annuities
Life Insurance Trusts
Real Estate Partnerships
Long Term Care Coverage
Prepaid Funeral Plans
Conduit Trusts
Asset Protection Trusts
Generation Skipping Trusts
Dynasty Trusts
Family Limited Partnerships
Charitable Remainder Trusts
Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts
For the PVWLaw Guide to
Estate Planning and
Information List to assist in
assembling estate planning
data, go to:
www.pvwlaw.com
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