onlinestateplaning

Do You Have a Trust and Will?

onlinestateplaning

We have often written about the woeful state of retirement readiness in the United States. One area that is important for all investors is their estate planning documents, including trusts, wills, health care directives, HIPAA authorizations, succcessor trustee instructions and funding instructions.  According to Forbes, “Half of Americans don’t have any of the most basic estate planning documents, including a will, a living will and financial and medical powers of attorney, needed to protect them (and their assets) if they’re incapacitated, according to a new survey.” As a registered investment advisor and a provider of fiduciary wealth services, IFA has an interest in seeing that all of our clients who need estate planning receive it. To be clear, estate planning should only be provided by qualified estate planning attorneys, and IFA Wealth Advisors can refer clients to estate attorneys to create estate plans and aid in the implementation of the plans.

Towards this end, IFA proudly announces a new Website, http://www.onlineestateplanning.com. This Website is owned and operated by OnlineEstatePlanning, Inc., which is owned by estate planning attorneys Leslie Daff and Randy Gardner and IFA does not receive any referral fees from OnlineEstatePlanning, Inc. Leslie Daff has appeared in 5 IFA.tv shows, which can be viewed here. Leslie is a California State Bar certified specialist in estate planning, trust and probate law, has been named for six consecutive years by OC Register Metro Magazine as one of the region's top lawyers, and has been granted the highest designation of "AV Preeminent 5 out of 5" by national legal directory Martindale Hubbell, which signifies her peers rank her at the highest level of professional and ethical excellence. Leslie has also been selected by her peers for inclusion in Southern California Top Rated Lawyers, published by Law.com and the Los Angeles Times every year since its initial publication. In 2012, the State Bar of California Board of Trustees appointed Leslie to serve as one of nine commissioners on the Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Advisory Commission to advise the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization about its program - and to write the exam - that certifies legal specialists in the area of estate planning, trust and probate law.

Randy Gardner is a nationally-accredited estate planning attorney and an award-winning Professor of Tax and Estate Planning at the University of Missouri. He has taught and practiced for over 35 years. Randy is one of the top-rated estate planning attorneys in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area according to Ingram’s Magazine, and has been recognized multiple times as a Five Star Wealth Manager in Estate Planning. Randy is also the author of the books 101 Tax Saving Ideas and Tools and Techniques of Income Tax Planning.  He serves on the Editorial Boards of The Journal of Financial Planning and National Underwriter’s Tax Facts and has written scores of articles for publications such as CPA Magazine, Practical Tax Strategies, and Tax Adviser.

Randy and Leslie have both earned the highest rating of “10/10 Superb” by independent national attorney rating service Avvo.  They are coauthors and coeditors of the books The Closing Wealth Transfer Window and Estate Planning Strategies: Collective Wisdom and Proven Techniques.  They are also regular columnists on tax and estate planning matters for The Journal of Financial PlanningIn their most recent article, entitled Making the Online Estate Planning Process Work, they differentiated themselves from mass market Websites, such as LegalZoom, and off-the-shelf computer programs, such as Quicken Family Lawyer.  As they pointed out, neither of these approaches provide legal advice. They summarize the problems with these approaches as follows:

“As many financial advisers and estate planning attorneys know, do-it-yourself estate planning has resulted in documents that clients do not understand, documents that do not work as intended, and even estate plans that are missing necessary documents. Furthermore, many revocable living trusts that are created online or with do-it-yourself computer programs go unfunded, meaning financial assets and business interests are not re-titled in the name of the trust and beneficiary designations on life insurance and retirement plans are not coordinated with the overall estate plan.”

Randy and Leslie also point out how technological advances and the increased confidence consumers have in the Internet have allowed attorneys to avoid ethical concerns with regard to privacy and confidentiality as well. By protecting client information on secure encrypted websites with secure client portals to transfer work product, attorneys can now ethically gather client data and deliver confidential documents, such as wills and trusts, electronically.

Onlineestateplanning.com incorporates a detailed questionnaire that is used as the basis for creating an estate plan, and for a nominal monthly fee, they offer a maintenance program that will alert you to changes in the law that may affect your plan, let you obtain amendments to your estate plan at reduced rates, and provide you with free online forms, including forms necessary for a successor trustee to handle your affairs at your incapacity and death. 

At Index Fund Advisors, we are excited about Leslie’s and Randy’s new offering, and we look forward to helping our clients get their estate planning in order.

We have often written about the woeful state of retirement readiness in the United States. According to Forbes, “Half of Americans don’t have any of the most basic estate planning documents, including a will, a living will and financial and medical powers of attorney, needed to protect them (and their assets) if they’re incapacitated, according to a new survey.” As a registered investment advisor and a provider of fiduciary wealth services, IFA has an interest in seeing that all of our clients who need estate planning receive it. To be clear, estate planning should only be provided by qualified estate planning attorneys, and IFA Wealth Advisors can refer clients to estate attorneys to create estate plans and aid in the implementation of the plans.

Towards this end, IFA proudly announces a new Website, http://www.onlineestateplanning.com. This Website is owned and operated by estate planning attorneys Leslie Daff and Randy Gardner.  Leslie has been named for six consecutive years by OC Register Metro Magazine as one of the region's top lawyers, and has been granted the highest designation of "AV Preeminent 5 out of 5" by national legal directory Martindale Hubbell, which signifies her peers rank her at the highest level of professional and ethical excellence. Leslie has also been selected by her peers for inclusion in Southern California Top Rated Lawyers, published by Law.com and the Los Angeles Times every year since its initial publication. In 2012, the State Bar of California Board of Trustees appointed Leslie to serve as one of nine commissioners on the Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Advisory Commission to advise the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization about its program - and to write the exam - that certifies legal specialists in the area of estate planning, trust and probate law.

Randy is a nationally- accredited estate planning attorney and an award-winning Professor of Tax and Estate Planning at the University of Missouri. He has taught and practiced for over 35 years. Randy is one of the top-rated estate planning attorneys in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area according to Ingram’s Magazine, and has been recognized multiple times as a Five Star Wealth Manager in Estate Planning.  Randy is also the author of the books 101 Tax Saving Ideas and Tools and Techniques of Income Tax Planning.  He serves on the Editorial Boards of The Journal of Financial Planning and National Underwriter’s Tax Facts and has written scores of articles for publications such as CPA Magazine, Practical Tax Strategies, and Tax Adviser.

Randy and Leslie have both earned the highest rating of “10/10 Superb” by independent national attorney rating service Avvo.  They are coauthors and coeditors of the books The Closing Wealth Transfer Window and Estate Planning Strategies: Collective Wisdom and Proven Techniques.  They are also regular columnists on tax and estate planning matters for The Journal of Financial Planning.  In their most recent article, entitled Making the Online Estate Planning Process Work, they differentiated themselves from mass market Websites, such as LegalZoom, and off-the-shelf computer programs, such as Quicken Family Lawyer.  As they pointed out, neither of these approaches provide legal advice. They summarize the problems with these approaches as follows:

“As many financial advisers and estate planning attorneys know, do-it-yourself estate planning has resulted in documents that clients do not understand, documents that do not work as intended, and even estate plans that are missing necessary documents. Furthermore, many revocable living trusts that are created online or with do-it-yourself computer programs go unfunded, meaning financial assets and business interests are not re-titled in the name of the trust and beneficiary designations on life insurance and retirement plans are not coordinated with the overall estate plan.”

 

Randy and Leslie also point out how technological advances and the increased confidence consumers have in the Internet have allowed attorneys to avoid ethical concerns with regard to privacy and confidentiality as well. By protecting client information on secure encrypted websites with secure client portals to transfer work product, attorneys can now ethically gather client data and deliver confidential documents, such as wills and trusts, electronically.

 

Onlineestateplanning.com incorporates a detailed questionnaire that is used as the basis for creating an estate plan, and for a nominal monthly fee, they offer a maintenance program that will alert you to changes in the law that may affect your plan, let you obtain amendments to your estate plan at reduced rates, and provide you with free online forms, including forms necessary for a successor trustee to handle your affairs at your incapacity and death.

 

At Index Fund Advisors, we are excited about Leslie’s and Randy’s new offering, and we look forward to helping our clients get their estate planning in order.