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Concierge Estate Planning Service

Lara Sass & Associates, PLLC is proud to offer our groundbreaking Concierge Estate Planning Service for ultra-high net worth individuals.  Our Concierge Estate Planning Service focuses exclusively on assisting clients whose needs have outgrown the traditional trusts and estates approach and require more proactive and dynamic planning and management.  This service embodies our ongoing commitment to serve as trusted advisors to our clients and to deliver an even higher level of service and value at Lara Sass & Associates, PLLC.    

Our Concierge Estate Planning Service focuses solely on assisting ultra-high-net-worth clients with total assets in excess of $50 million in value to develop strategies designed to preserve intra-generational wealth and assist with the unique wealth transition issues that affect them, such as dynastic planning, legacy planning, management and control of assets, business succession planning, and philanthropic and liquidity needs.  We work with the client and the client's advisors to clarify the underlying dynamics of the client's situation and provide bespoke solutions, innovative technologies and sophisticated planning techniques reflective of the client's values and objectives, and engage future generations who will carry on the family legacy.  Our Concierge Estate Planning Service offers strategic modeling tools and presentations to provide a client with rigorous and detailed financial, tax and estate planning illustrations that will enable us to deliver timely, cutting-edge advice.

 

Our Concierge Estate Planning Service also serves as a catalyst to pull together a team of advisors for the client to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in meeting a client’s holistic financial needs, including income and estate tax, insurance, financial, asset protection, philanthropic and other planning.  As part of this collaborative approach, we emphasize the ongoing need for communication and education among both advisors and family members.  We create a secure online document vault to which clients and advisors have shared access, as well as an online Estate Planning Binder for each client which provides immediate access from any location to critical information including:

           

  1. Client Data – A summary of a client’s personal data and contact information, list of family members, and contact information for all advisors.

  2. Estate Planning Summary – A written summary of all estate planning documents, as well as spreadsheets, flowcharts and illustrations showing how a client's estate will be distributed during life and at death.

  3. Digital Assets Inventory - We offer a secure online document vault for recording and storing information for digital assets, including bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies; domain names for websites; digital photos and videos; digital rights to literary, musical composition, motion picture, or theatrical works; blog content; and online video channels where the content is monetized and producing an advertising revenue stream for its owner.  We also prepare documents to allow agents to access these assets in the event of a client’s incapacity or death.

  4. Letter of Wishes – We work with each client to prepare a Letter of Wishes to help explain a client’s wishes and intent in creating each trust to enhance the trustee’s understanding of the client’s desires for benefitting the beneficiaries of the trust through the use and distribution of the trust property.     

  5. Gift Tracking Form – We will create a Gift Tracking Form to track – We create a form to continually track a client’s annual and lifetime gifts.

 

We offer exclusively to clients of our Concierge Estate Planning Service these additional benefits:

  • Online Remote Notary Services – Our Client Concierge works with clients to provide remote online notarization and witnessing services to allow for convenient and efficient execution of documents.

  • Client Concierge – Our Client Concierge assists clients with whatever they may need, including access to secure client portal accounts, supervision of document execution, and sharing of information with advisors.  The mission of the Client Concierge is to ensure that the best possible service is provided to our Concierge Estate Planning Service clients.

  • Concierge Advisory Services – We act as quarterback for clients to assemble and coordinate a client’s team of advisors to address needs from wealth management, income tax planning, consolidated reporting and bill pay to personal accounting solutions.  We work closely with the nation’s top investment managers, accountants, life insurance planners and other advisors and service providers to holistically address the financial needs and objectives of our clients.    

STEP 1

Intake

STEP 2

Goals Assessment and Legal Review Meeting

STEP 3

Design Meeting

STEP 4

Implementation

STEP 5

Execution

STEP 6

Maintenance

1. INTAKE

The first step for Concierge Estate Planning Service clients needing estate planning services is to complete our estate planning questionnaire (performed by a client’s financial advisor or family office) so that we have a comprehensive understanding of the client’s family and financial information.  Once we have received the completed questionnaire, we reach out to the client to schedule the Goals Assessment and Legal Review Meeting (discussed below).  

 

If a client would prefer an initial consultation prior to completion of the estate planning questionnaire, we would be happy to offer that.

Business Meeting

2. GOALS ASSESSMENT AND LEGAL REVIEW MEETING

Clients of our Concierge Estate Planning Service will participate in a Goals Assessment and Legal Review Meeting.  There is a flat fee for the Goals Assessment and Legal Review Meeting of $4,500.  During this meeting, we assist clients in identifying their advanced estate planning goals through the following comprehensive counseling process:

 

  • Goals Assessment – We lead the client through a Goals Assessment intended to help the client create a vision for his or her estate plan, clarify and express his or her specific goals, and assure that the plan reflects important “soft issues” such as a client’s purpose, passions and wishes.

  • Legal Review – Prior to the Goals Assessment and Legal Review Meeting, we perform a comprehensive review and analysis of a client’s existing estate planning documents, business entities, assets and financial circumstances to determine current and projected net worth over the client’s lifetime, potential income and estate tax liabilities, and whether the existing estate plan will actually achieve stated goals.  The results of this analysis are presented to the client during the Goals Assessment and Legal Review Meeting and provides the client with a benchmark to show the gap between his or her existing vs. ideal estate plans and what needs to be done to improve the plan.

Legal Handshake

3. DESIGN MEETING

Following the Goals Assessment and Legal Review Meeting, we hold a Design Meeting.  In anticipation of the Design Meeting, we provide each client of our Concierge Estate Planning Service with a comprehensive memorandum that reflects the vision and analysis described above, as well as recommendations and illustrations that identify the estate tax implications of the proposal.  During the Design Meeting, we collaboratively review the memorandum with the client and his or her advisors and present the strategic and tactical modeling tools and illustrations included therein.  Based on client and advisor feedback, we continue to test and refine the plan following the Design Meeting, and quantify the benefits and return on investment that the client should receive based on a fully updated and implemented estate plan.  There is a flat fee for the Design Meeting and related work, depending on the level of tax and other planning required.  

The Design Meeting addresses all of the following planning needs:

  • Estate Planning – We design an estate plan that will effectively and efficiently transfer a client’s assets to his or her chosen beneficiaries, keep family affairs private, avoid probate, and ensure that the family’s wealth is properly managed through the generations.

 

Basic estate planning documents include:

  • Revocable Trust and/or a Will (including trusts for descendants, QTIP marital deduction trusts, and credit shelter trusts for estate tax planning purposes)

  • Financial Power of Attorney

  • Advance Directive for Healthcare

  • Living Will

 

More advanced estate planning techniques include:

  • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILITs)

  • Gift trusts for spouse, children and/or grandchildren (Crummey trusts and 2503(c) trusts)

  • Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts (IDGTs)

  • Nongrantor Trusts for QSBS and other planning purposes

  • Dynasty Trusts for the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax exemption

  • Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs)

  • Spousal Limited Access Trusts (SLATs)

  • Special Power of Appointment Trusts (SPATs)

  • Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRTs)

  • Charitable Lead and Charitable Remainder Trusts (CLTs and CRTs)

  • Domestic Asset Protection Trusts (DAPTs)

  • Family Limited Partnerships (FLPs)

  • Family Limited Liability Company (FLLCs)

  • QTIP and QDOT Marital Trusts

  • Retirement Plan Trusts

  • Special Needs Trusts (SNTs)

  • Private Foundations

  • Intra-Family Loans

 

  • Tax Planning – We recommend advanced tax planning techniques to substantially reduce or eliminate a client’s income, gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes, as well as capital gains upon the sale of a business or other asset.  We introduce the client to and manage outside advisors to the extent needed to address goals outside of our area of expertise.

  • Asset Protection Planning – We review a client’s assets and activities and implement an appropriate plan to protect against creditors, divorcing spouses, predators and unnecessary taxes.

  • Legacy and Charitable Planning – We recommend charitable giving strategies to create a family legacy; perpetuate the family’s purposes, passions and favored causes; and build stewardship for future generations.

  • Business Succession Planning – We help implement a plan to maximize the value of a client’s business; determine the best option with respect to succession of the business; and minimize the income and estate taxes consequences inherent in an eventual exit from the business.

  • Prenuptial or Postnuptial Planning – We prepare prenuptial or postnuptial agreements to allow spouses or prospective spouses to determine the property rights and financial responsibilities of each party during the marriage and establish how the property will be distributed and support obligations upon divorce or death.

Design Book

4. IMPLEMENTATION

Once the client approves the final estate plan design, we provide the client with an engagement letter for review and signature.  We ask that the client provide us with payment of the fixed fee for implementation of the plan at that time.

The fixed fee typically includes drafting of the estate planning documents, a written summary of the documents, and a spreadsheet or flowchart showing how the client's estate will be distributed.  The summary documents and spreadsheet or flowchart are crucial to ensuring the client’s understanding of the plan and can be shared with family members and advisors. 

 

During the implementation phase, there may be ongoing communication with the client and the client’s advisors, which may involve obtaining additional documentation, clarifying goals and information, and discussing options and tradeoffs.  We strongly believe that ongoing communication is an essential element of developing an effective plan and building a life-long, trusted relationship with our clients.

Image by Damir Babacic

5. EXECUTION

The fixed fee for implementation of the plan also includes a meeting to review the draft documents.  We feel that no client should sign any document without a comprehensive understanding of its contents and the ramifications thereof.  To that end, we dedicate a significant amount of time to explaining each section of the plan and answering any questions that have arisen in the process, including the use of customized flowcharts and illustrations where helpful.

 

After the review, we provide the client with finalized, flagged documents for signature, along with detailed signing instructions.

 

Once the documents have been signed, the client receives an electronic file via his or her secure online client portal account that includes PDFs of the final documents, the written and pictorial summary, and instructions for the funding and administration of any trusts we create.  A client’s documents and critical information will always be available for immediate access by the client, as well as any authorized advisors and family members, from any location through the secure portal account.  

Writing Documents

6. MAINTENANCE

Finally, once implemented, we diligently and actively manage our clients’ estate plans to ensure that they continue to both function properly and meet our clients’ objectives, regardless of changes in life and the law.  We keep our clients informed on a regular basis through our electronic newsletter and client emails.  Through these regular touch points, we keep clients updated about changes in the law that might affect them, and routinely remind them to monitor their plans with regard to major life events.  Because we will not craft estate plans that do not work or maximize outcomes, we provide each client with a tailored estate planning maintenance program, for which we apply a fixed annual fee determined by the amount of work required to maintain the plan.  This includes meeting with the trustees, investment advisors and accountants for a trust at least once a year to help ensure the trust is being administered in accordance with the trust instrument and as required by state law. 

Forklift Maintenance