Maintenance Plan for a Revocable or Living Trust
It is our goal to provide you, our client, with the highest quality legal service for a fair fee. Much has been written about “trust centered” estate plans. Commentaries suggest that a living trust portfolio is a “Magic Book” and miraculously needs no lifetime maintenance, will avoid probate on both death and disability and will not require a need for any professional assistance after the death of the Trustmaker.
The reality of the situation is that although a living trust centered estate plan can greatly reduce the need for additional legal and professional services on the death or disability of a trustmaker, you will still need some assistance. It has been our experience that there are two common reasons why estate plans do not meet the goals and expectations of clients. First, the estate plan has not been properly funded (assets and possessions have not been accurately titled, if at all, into the name of the revocable living trust), and secondly, the plans have not been updated and maintained so that when goals and objectives change or assets are bought and sold, the plan does not change accordingly.
Yet we know that life is all about change. If our estate plan doesn’t change as our lives change, it probably won’t work.
Knudsen Burbridge, P.C. has developed a flexible estate planning maintenance program for clients of this firm who have revocable living trust based plans. This maintenance program is only available to clients who have executed a living trust based estate plan designed by us, and that has been fully and accurately funded. Full and accurate “funding” is critical to your estate plan.
Participation in our trust maintenance program will provide you with the highest level of assurance we can give that your life and estate plan will continue to meet your goals and objectives and will perform as you expect and that your “after death settlement costs” (called Post Mortem Administration Fees) will be reasonable to all concerned at the time of your death.
Knudsen Burbridge, P.C. makes the following services available to our clients whose initial funding has been completed to our satisfaction:
ANNUAL CLIENT BREAKFAST SEMINAR
You will be invited to attend a complimentary annual client meeting where we review how a revocable living trust plan works; the purpose of the ancillary documents; the role of your Trustees; any recent tax law, probate, and trust law changes; and related areas of interest to you and your family. This annual seminar is open to you and your key family members. We offer the annual client breakfast seminar as a complimentary service to our living trust clients.
PLAN REVIEW AND IN-PERSON UPDATING MEETING
You may schedule an appointment any time to review your revocable living trust. Prior to meeting with us, an attorney will review your estate plan particulars and your funding to make sure it still complies with recent laws. During our in-person meeting with you, we will review your plan and discuss any changes you would like to make.
The cost of the plan review and in-person initial meeting is $395.00 for a married couple and $295.00 for a single person. You incur the fee only when you schedule an in-person meeting. This fee covers the review of your estate planning documents and asset allocations, a refreshed Durable Power of Attorney if necessary, and the meeting time. There will be additional fees at a reduced rate (20% off our attorneys’ regular hourly rate) for any additional drafting or funding that you require.
You can schedule an updating meeting as frequently as you desire. Some of our clients choose to meet with us every year, but the frequency is up to you. We strongly recommend meeting at least every three years.
Funding services include assistance and counseling during the acquisition, sale or disposition of trust property, whether currently owned or acquired in the future (in other words, funding). Your funding will be reviewed when you come in for a Plan Updating Meeting to ensure that the overall goals and objectives of your estate plan will continue to be met. If necessary, your schedule of assets will be updated to reflect your current financial situation. This way we can optimize tax planning for your estate in light of ongoing changes in the tax code and ensure our records are up-to-date for your beneficiaries.
TELEPHONE CONSULTATIONS OR EMAILS
We offer telephone consultations or email support on an as needed basis with members of our firm regarding funding, titling, plan maintenance, or plan operation. We charge for our services and advice, however, we often offer quick consultations free of charge or at a reduced rate to our existing clients.
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This maintenance program does not obligate your successor trustees to use our Law Firm for post-mortem administration of your plan. They are free to choose any law firm they wish. But we are obligated to provide your family with postmortem services for a reasonable fee if you have participated in the updating program and maintained your estate plan at the time of death.
We may increase our Trust Maintenance fees from time to time. However, no increase will exceed 10% of the current fee and there will be no increase in maintenance fees more frequently than every two years.
Please contact us if you have any questions about your Estate Plan.