LARA SASS & ASSOCIATES, PLLC OFFERS A NEW ENHANCED ESTATE PLANNING PROCESS AND LAUNCHES CONCIERGE ESTATE PLANNING SERVICE
New York, NY, May 19, 2021 – As part of our expansion, Lara Sass & Associates, PLLC is pleased to offer an enhanced estate planning process using a holistic and highly customized approach for all new estate planning clients. Our new process 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.
We are also proud to announce the launch of our groundbreaking Concierge Estate Planning Service for ultra-high net worth individuals. Our Concierge Estate Planning Service will focus exclusively on assisting clients whose needs have outgrown the traditional trusts and estates approach and require more proactive and dynamic planning and management.
ENHANCED ESTATE PLANNING PROCESS
The components of the enhanced estate planning process are as follows:
The first step for clients needing estate planning services is to complete our estate planning questionnaire (often performed by a client’s financial advisor) so that we have a comprehensive understanding of the client’s family and financial information. Once we have received the completed questionnaire, we will reach out to the client to schedule the Design Meeting (discussed below).
If a client would prefer an initial consultation prior to completion of the estate planning questionnaire, there is an investment of $750 for the consultation.
2. THE DESIGN MEETING
The Design Meeting constitutes a combination of our review, assessment and recommendations. Specifically, in anticipation of the Design Meeting, we will perform a comprehensive review and analysis of any existing estate planning documents a client may have. The results of this analysis will be presented to the client during the Design Meeting, along with any proposed changes to improve the plan. The Design Meeting is dedicated to discussing a client's objectives and customizing a comprehensive estate plan that will address estate, tax, asset protection, legacy and charitable, business succession, and prenuptial/postnuptial planning needs. We will clearly explain the specific, customized strategies that we recommend based on a client’s objectives, along with the often significant resulting estate tax savings, using flowcharts for better understanding and a detailed memorandum for more sophisticated estate plans. There is a flat fee for the Design Meeting of either $2,500 or $7,500 (includes memorandum), depending on the level of sophistication and customized planning required.
Once the client approves the final estate plan design, we will 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 at that time. The fixed fee for implementation 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.
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 will 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 will provide the client with finalized, flagged documents for signature, along with detailed signing instructions.
Once the documents have been signed, the client will receive 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 will always be available for immediate access by the client, as well as any authorized advisors and family members, from any location on his or her secure portal account.
Finally, once implemented, we will 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 periodic 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.
For more detailed information about our enhanced estate planning process, please visit https://www.laramsass.com/process.
CONCIERGE ESTATE PLANNING SERVICE
In addition to our enhanced estate planning process, Lara Sass & Associates, PLLC has just launched a new Concierge Estate Planning Service to further expand our suite of services for ultra-high net worth individuals with total assets in excess of $50 million in value.
The Concierge Estate Planning Service will help to develop strategies designed to preserve intra-generational wealth and assist clients 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 will 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. The Concierge Estate Planning Service will offer 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.
The Concierge Estate Planning Service will also serve 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 will emphasize the ongoing need for communication and education among both advisors and family members. We will create a secure online document vault to which clients and advisors will have shared access, as well as an online Estate Planning Binder which will provide immediate access from any location to critical client information.
In order to accomplish the foregoing, in addition to the enhanced estate planning process described above, clients of our Concierge Estate Planning Service will participate in a Goals Assessment and Legal Review Meeting prior to the Design Meeting. There is a flat fee for the Goals Assessment and Legal Review Meeting of $4,500. As part of the Goals Assessment and Legal Review Meeting, we will assist clients in identifying and achieving their advanced estate planning goals through the following comprehensive counseling process:
Goals Assessment – We will 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 will 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 will be presented to the client during the Goals Assessment and Legal Review Meeting and will provide 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.
Following the Goals Assessment and Legal Review Meeting, we will hold a Design Meeting. In anticipation of the Design Meeting, we will 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 will 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 will 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 are flat fees associated with the Design Meeting and the accompanying work to implement, execute and maintain the plan, depending on the level of tax and other planning required.