The Legacy Protection Process is a unique estate planning process that we’ve developed to provide uncommon value to our clients. It is a process designed to assure that our clients will always be confident and secured that they, their loved ones and their legacies are protected.

What Are the Different Aspects of the Legacy Protection Process?

There are three key ingredients to the Legacy Protection Process.

  1. An Individually Customized Plan. Every individual or family that we have prepared an estate plan for is different. As a result, every plan needs to be tailored to meet the needs of that client. For example planning needs for families with young children may be very different from families with adult children who have families of their own. A family with a special needs child will have planning needs that other types of families don’t’. Individuals of different net worth will also have different needs that need to be specifically addressed. And the list goes on and on. We differentiate ourselves by spending the time that we need to learn everything we can learn about our clients and what their objectives are, and then personally designing a plan to fulfill those objectives.
  2. Asset Integration/Funding. An estate plan won’t work properly unless the name(s) in which your assets are owned and the beneficiary designations on things like an IRA or 401(k) account and life insurance are coordinated with the estate plan. If the estate planning documents provide for property to be left one way, but the titling and beneficiary designations on assets cause the property to left in a different way, the estate plan doesn’t work. The Legacy Protection Process includes fully providing for the coordination of all of our clients’ property with their estate plan so that they are assured it will work the way they want.
  3. A System to Keep the Plan Up to Date. Over time, your family is going to change, your assets will change, the laws will change, your objectives may change and the world is going to change. So it is important that some process for periodic review is in place so that as these changes occur, your plan can be kept current. Otherwise, it may fail to achieve your most important objectives. The Legacy Protection Process includes a formal program for your plan to be reviewed periodically, and if necessary brought up to date, to best assure it will meet your objectives when that time comes.

Do Other Estate Planning Firms Operate in that Way?

Other estate planning firms do not typically operate this way. Other firms typically provide only documents. Some of these firms will provide only “word processed”, one size fits all documents, in which they do a search and replace for the names of the client and the client’s family members. Other firms provide a more customized approach designed to meet the client’s objectives.

But either way, that is the only thing other estate planning law firms provide to their clients. The last two steps of the Legacy Protection Process are left unaddressed: Asset coordination with the estate plan and a system for periodic review to keep the plan up to date. Given these missing steps, there is a much greater likelihood that estate plans prepared by these firms will fail.

This article was originally published by Steve Spewak on EstatePlanMO.com. It is republished here with permission.