"What these wealthy clients want is someone to help them think through the estate planning issues, to help them ‘crystallize' what is and is not truly important."
Once a trusts and estates lawyer has designed and discussed a client's estate plan, the next step is to implement it. Drafting the documents, creating trusts and partnerships, and other planning follow. But some wealthy clients put the brakes on the process before implementation.
The clients pay for the design of the estate plans, but no other action was taken.
In an attempt to understand why some affluent clients choose not to take action, Forbes' article, "Why The Wealthy Do Not Implement Their Estate Plans," describes a survey conducted of 288 wealthy families (defined as those with a net worth of U.S. $10 million or more) who had engaged trusts and estates lawyers to design their estate plans but did not follow through. These folks cited a number of reasons why they didn't act on their estate plan.
Almost 90% said that the estate plan didn't deal with their goals, wants, and objectives. About half think that their estate plan was too complicated. Well, estate planning for the wealthy often requires complex strategies to achieve goals. But this shows that they needed an experienced trusts and estates lawyer to do more than simply create an estate plan. They needed a professional who was equally skilled at gauging the affluent clients' ability to cope with the complexity of the planning and to be comfortable with the plan.
Half of the affluent clients say they didn't implement their plans because they were nervous and that they weren't in control. Based on this study, wealthy and non-wealthy clients should treat communication and client education as an important part of estate planning.
For estate planning tailored to you and explained in understandable language contact us at Family Security Law Group, APC.
Reference: Forbes (March 22, 2016) "Why the Wealthy Do Not Implement Their Estate Plans"