The Living Trust book

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The Living Trust book, by Henry Abts, III
"The Bible on How to Avoid Probate"
Over 1 million copies sold

The Living Trust book was written by Henry Abts III, founder of The Estate Plan. The Living Trust did not just materialize overnight. The seeds germinated for many years, he was influenced by situations that he encountered through personal experiences as well as a host of situations specific to his clients. Meeting with thousands of clients gave Henry the opportunity to address their technical questions in terms they could understand. When the clients asked for written information to forward to their parents in Florida, or to their children in New York, he began writing his experiences down. As the years passed, many of Henry’s clients, and eventually a publishing agent, asked him to write a book about the Living Trust in layperson’s terms. They felt he had a way of explaining complex concepts in simple and understandable terms. The Living Trust took four years of writing and a year of editing and was first published in June 1989. The book immediately became a nationwide success. It was updated in 1993, 1997, and in 2002, and more than one million copies have been sold.

The Living Trust : The Failproof Way to Pass Along Your Estate to Your Heirs

• The Living Trust makes the old-fashioned will obsolete
• Includes information on the estate tax, the gift, and the generation-skipping tax
• Eliminates estate-devouring probate charges and attorneys' fees
• Guarantees a timely distribution of funds to your heirs
• Assures that no one may contest or overturn your wishes regarding disposition of your estate
• Shows how to protect your business, savings, and retirement from frivolous lawsuits
• Legally valid in all fifty states

A Living Trust is a simple, inexpensive legal alternative that eliminates the costs and delays of probate and ensures that your loved ones will receive their inheritance promptly and exactly as you intended. The Living Trust- the bible on how to avoid probate- will show you how to take full advantage of this critical estate planning tool. The updated edition of The Living Trust includes the latest information on trust formations, tax changes, distribution rules, and more. It also offers:

• Insight into abuses within the probate system
• Advice on how to protect your business, savings, and retirement funds from frivolous lawsuits.
• The effects of the Economic Growth and Tax Reconciliation Act of 2001 on estate tax, gift tax, the generation-skipping tax, and stepped-up evaluation.

Sample and ancillary documents, including estate preservation and tax-saving documents, a living will, and costs of a Living Trust, all updated to reflect the latest tax changes and Living Trust requirements.

You may think your heirs have been well provided for, but did you know that:

• Your loved ones may have to wait more than two years before receiving a penny from your estate- even though you left a legally valid will?
• Costs of probating your will may eat up more than 10 percent of your estate- money your heirs will never receive?
• The specific instructions of your bequest may be contested or changed completely- even though clearly spelled out in your will?
• A will cannot help you in life. If you become incapacitated or your judgment comes into question, it becomes a matter for the courts to decide and is a very public process.

OUR GIFT TO YOU

View a portion of the book by clicking on the links below.

Chapter 1 - Lest We Forget

Chapter 2 - The Agony Of Probate

Appendix A

~ "The Living Trust is unquestionably the layman's most nearly complete source on living trusts...Recommended reading for anyone who wants to maximize his net estate left to heirs, speed asset distribution after death, avoid will challenges, minimize estate costs, and maintain privacy." -Robert Bruss, Esq., and nationally syndicated real estate columnist, Chicago Tribune

Click Below to Get Your Copy Now! 

Those Who Don’t Know Exactly What a Trust Is – Class 101

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The "Living Trust" term comes from the Latin "Inter Vivos" which means "during life". This phrase is used to refer to the making of a gift while a person is still alive, unlike a bequest in a will. So a Living Trust or Inter Vivos Trust is a property controlling entity that is created and goes into effect while you are still alive, and will remain as long as you want it to, after your demise.

Trusts date back to the days of European Kings and conquerors during the Middle Ages. It seems that when a knight went off to fight in faraway lands for his King, the very same King often had the bad habit of taking over the management of any property owned by the knight. Eventually, the King would claim ownership of the property, considering it as payment for the management services rendered. Since some of these wars lasted for many years, the knight would come to nothing!

But, when the knights discovered Inter Vivos Trusts and placed their property in them before going away to war, they secured greatly enhanced asset and property protection. The Trust was an organized, legal vehicle complete with an appointed Trustee. Back then, the church was the Trustee of choice for the best chance of getting the property back later.  This Trustee was given the responsibility and power to manage the property and defend it from any claims of abandonment or other false claims the government might have made against it.

Eventually, the concept of the Living Trust migrated across the Atlantic. In 1765, Patrick Henry (who was not a lawyer) became the first to write a Living Trust in the New World. The Trust was written for Robert Morris, Governor of the Virginia colony. Interestingly, his Trust, the North American Land Company, is still operational today!

However, for most of the history of the United States, Living Trusts were not very popular with the mainstream population. This was because in modern times (the birth of the IRS), a separate trust tax return was required each year for all Trust holders which is known as IRS Tax Form 1041. Fortunately in 1981, congress passed a law that allows all American taxpayers to draft a Trust and no longer be required to file a separate Trust tax return (as long as you remain competent and in charge of your trust estate). That opened up the floodgate for this very popular legal estate planning vehicle here in the United States. It is being utilized today by younger and younger generations. (I have written trusts for executives still in their 20's!)

Prior to this huge IRS tax law change the Living Trust concept was usually used only in cases of vast riches. You can bet that most of the past relatives of families such as the Kennedy's, Vanderbilt's, and Rockefellers, had either a Living Trust or a Testamentary Trust in their Will when they died. (A Testamentary Trust is just a trust that is born upon your death and controls your money and property for the sake of your surviving heirs.)

When the tax law first changed, people caught on pretty slowly. But the Living Trust revolution gained steam throughout the 80's and was at full pace by the early 90's. Sadly, in spite of the revolution, about 70% of Americans today still die intestate, meaning they have no Will or Trust in place to control their lifetime achievement - their estate!

And just as the Trusts of old protected the property of knights, placing your property into a Trust with someone in charge as Trustee does protect your assets for both a long term disability as well as for your eventual demise. It was a good idea back in the beginning when they first came onto the scene -- and it is just as good an idea today.

Today, properly signed and funded Living Trusts also protect you against high legal fees as long as you choose adequate (meaning trustworthy and financially smart) Trustees and appoint one or two backup Trustees. This will insure that someone will always be in charge, and thus court intervention can be prevented.

The Trust Portfolio of almost any Arizona practitioner also contains valuable Power of Attorney documents. If you don't have these documents, a court may order a Conservatorship in the event that you become disabled. In Arizona, a legal Conservatorship requires attorney representation and multiple court appearances each year until you either recover or die. During this time, you can expect continuous generous withdrawals from your checking account. Fortunately, this "living hell" money scenario can easily be avoided via a low cost properly executed General Durable Power of Attorney document in most cases.

In summary, a Living Trust allows professional management of your property when you are disabled or die. The rest of the coordinated legal documents in a modern Trust Portfolio protect you further from hefty legal expenses and court fees. Normally, this holds true even without invoking an official court declared "disabled" status.

This allows the agent you appoint on your Money Care Power of Attorney document to manage your affairs privately without the extra expense of legal representation required by the court as is the case in Arizona with a legal court Conservatorship. Also, it allows your medical power of attorney agent to represent you in all medical decisions when you can't make them.

California Passes New Law SB 1170 & SB 1184

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California lawmakers passed a bill effective January 1, 2013 strengthening senior protection that affects insurance, trust and veterans planners.

The law states that it is “unlawful for any insurance agent who is not licensed as an attorney to deliver to a person who is 65 years of age or older, a living trust or other legal document, other than an insurance contract or other insurance product document, if a purpose of the delivery is to sell an insurance product.”  This law is aimed at the “trust mills” that use this model in order to “sell” a client an annuity after they deliver a trust.

The law also updates the disclosure notification process to a senior (65 or older) if they are coming to their home, veterans advertising rules, and advertising rules for lead generation and notification.

Several of our California attorneys have reviewed the new laws, and have said that with proper notification and procedures that align with the law, and if our advisors and attorneys follow the proper The Estate Plan procedure, we will be compliant with the new requirements.

Review of the law and a disclosure notice:

CA Law Changes, Eff. 1-1-2013

SEC. 2.  Section 785.4 is added to the Insurance Code, to read:

785.4.  (a) It shall be unlawful for any insurance agent who is not licensed as an attorney to deliver to a person who is 65 years of age or older, a living trust or other legal document, other than an insurance contract or other insurance product document, if a purpose of the delivery is to sell an insurance product.   (b) It shall be unlawful for any insurance agent who is licensed as an attorney to deliver to a person who is 65 years of age or older, a living trust or other legal document, other than an insurance contract or other insurance product document, unless the insurance agent complies with Section 6175.3 of the Business and Professions Code.

SEC. 4.  Section 789.10 of the Insurance Code is amended to read:

789.10.  (a) This section applies to the sale, offering for sale, or generation of leads for the sale of life insurance, including annuities, to senior insureds or prospective insureds by any person.

(b) A person who meets with a senior in the senior's home is required to deliver a notice in writing to the senior no less than 24 hours and no more than 14 days prior to that individual's initial meeting in the senior's home. If the senior has an existing insurance relationship with an agent and requests a meeting with the agent in the senior's home the same day, a notice shall be delivered to the senior prior to the meeting. The notice shall be a stand-alone document, with the appropriate information inserted and without any attachments. It shall be written in 16-point bold type and include all of the following, but no other, information:

(1) The agent's full name as it appears on his or her California insurance license.    (2) The agent's license number.    (3) The agent's mailing address and telephone number listed on his or her California insurance license.    (4) The following disclosure:    (A) "I am a licensed insurance agent. My purpose for coming to your home is to sell, discuss, and/or deliver one of the following indicate all that apply]:    ( ) Life insurance, including annuities.    ( ) Other insurance products specify]: _________________.    (B) You have the right to have other persons present at the meeting, including family members, financial advisors, or attorneys.    (C) You have the right to end the meeting at any time.    (D) You have the right to contact the Department of Insurance for information, or to file a complaint. The notice shall include the consumer assistance telephone numbers at the  department]    (E) The following individuals will be coming to your home: list all attendees, and insurance license information, if applicable]"

(c) Upon contacting the senior in the senior's home, the person shall, before making any statement other than a greeting, or asking the senior any other questions, state that the purpose of the contact is to talk about insurance, or to gather information for a followup visit to sell insurance, if that is the case, and state all of the following information:    (1) The name and titles of all persons arriving at the senior's home.    (2) The name of the insurer represented by the person, if known.    (d) Each person attending a meeting with a senior shall provide the senior with a business card or other written identification stating the person's name, business address, telephone number, and any insurance license number.    (e) The persons attending a meeting with a senior shall end all discussions and leave the home of the senior immediately after being asked to leave by the senior.    (f) A person may not solicit a sale or order for the sale of an annuity or life insurance policy at the residence of a senior, in person or by telephone, by using any plan, scheme, or ruse that misrepresents the true status or mission of the contact.

CALIFORNIA DISCLOSURE, SB 1170 1-1-2013 (send no earlier than 14 days prior to meeting)

(1) My name as it appears on my insurance license: ______________ (2) My license number: ______________________________________ (3) My mailing address and telephone number listed on my California insurance license:__________________________________ __________________________________________________________ I am a licensed insurance agent. My purpose for coming to your home is to sell, discuss, and/or deliver one of the following indicate all that apply]:    ( ) Life insurance, including annuities.    ( ) Other insurance products [specify]: _______________________ (A) You have the right to have other persons present at the meeting, including family members, financial advisors, or attorneys. (B) You have the right to end the meeting at any time. Should you wish to ask me to leave, I will do so immediately. (C) You have the right to contact the Department of Insurance for information, or to file a complaint. The consumer assistance telephone number at the department is: ________________________ (D) The following individuals will be coming to your home:

__________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________ The purpose of the contact is to talk about insurance, or to gather information for a follow up visit to sell insurance. (1) The name and titles of all persons arriving at the senior's home_____________________________________________________ (2) Name of the insurer:_____________________________________

Each person attending this meeting shall provide you with a business card or other written identification stating the person's name, business address, telephone number, and any insurance license number.

 

 

Press Release

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Gree Tree onlyThe Estate Plan launches revolutionary and state-of-the-art online estate planning source for financial and legal professionals.

TheEstatePlanningSource.com supports estate planning attorneys and financial planners with advanced documents, tools and resources to provide their clients with superior service.

Reno, NV, January 15, 2013 -The Estate Plan, Inc., a nationwide document solution company with a proven system that has benefited consumers with a quality product and service for over 30 years, announced today the launch of a new, innovative website theestateplanningsource.com.

“Times are changing; technology is at the forefront and is evolving at a rapid pace.  We’ve had to take heed to so many vital misconceptions occurring in our industry and respond with vital action in order to reach as many people as possible.  The mission of our founder, Henry Abts III, was to be an advocate for the public, doing what’s right.” G. McHam, CEO The Estate Plan.

The Estate Plan’s independent studies have shown there is more misinformation online regarding living trusts than correct information available for three primary reasons. Over the years The Estate Plan discovered the public has:

  • Been persuaded they do not need a trust and instead were sold a will
  • Received a trust they don’t understand and was never funded
  • Received a trust that isn’t worth the paper it’s written on

As a national authority on living trusts, The Estate Plan was compelled, if not fiducially obligated, to create a new and much more advanced website, TheEstatePlanningSource.com.   Hosting a broad array of resources and services, this site not only addresses these issues head on but also serves as the “go to” source for estate planning attorneys and advisors.

TheEstatePlanningsource.com’s platform boasts a comprehensive collection of estate planning news, editorial content, digital publications, and dynamic multi-media applications such as a blog, a forum and custom videos.  All attorneys and financial planners will access the host of services through memberships uniquely designed to provide their clients with superior advice and service.  Silver and Gold memberships receive instant access to advanced support and valuable tools.

Planners and attorneys interested in learning more about The Estate Plan and theestateplanningsource.com can visit the website or contact Kelly Isensee, Marketing and Recruiting Director at 1.800.292.0223, ext. 117.

About The Estate Plan
The Estate Plan is the nation’s oldest Living Trust production company, whose founder wrote The Living Trust book, a nationally acclaimed information resource.

Privacy Policy

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Privacy Policy

Estate Planning Source, LLC and The Estate Plan, Inc. created this privacy statement in order to demonstrate our strong commitment to privacy. We are committed to providing state of the art revocable living trusts and other estate-planning documents designed to meet your needs as requested of us and as directed and supervised in their preparation by your attorney. We are equally committed to respecting your privacy and protecting the information about you that we receive online through TheEstatePlanningSource.com. We do not sell, nor plan to sell,  any user information to anyone.  We have prepared this notice to advise you what information we collect, how we use it, and how we protect it.

What Information We Collect

As an essential part of our business, we obtain certain personal information about you from your attorney in order to provide an estate planning document requested of us by your attorney suitable to your specific needs and desires. Some of this information may come directly from you. Other information may come from your financial advisor, your accountant, your agent, a member of your family, or some other trusted person. The type of information we receive often includes addresses, social security numbers, family information, financial information and information pertaining to the particular personal situation of individual members of your family.

What Information We Disclose

We do not disclose nonpublic personal information about our current or former clients to any non-affiliated person or entity, except as permitted by law. Examples of the disclosures which we are permitted by law to make include disclosures to any person who is your advisor or attorney or who is your Trustee or attorney-in-fact under a Power of Attorney which specifically authorizes him or her to obtain the information on you that we keep; disclosures to other third parties made with your consent or at your direction; disclosures made in response to a subpoena or an inquiry from a regulatory agency; and disclosures made to comply with federal, state or local laws and to protect against fraud.

Our Privacy Protection Procedures

We protect information about you from unauthorized access. Our officers, employees, advisors, and agents receive training regarding our privacy policies. In all cases access to information about you is restricted to those individuals that need such information in order to provide our documentation and our services to you. Examples of activities requiring access to your personal information include: preparing documents suitable to your estate planning needs, updating those documents, and participation in the settling of your estate. Finally, we employ secure technologies in order to safeguard transmission of information about you through our web site, and we have established and maintain procedures to comply with all state and federal laws and regulations regarding the security of personal information.

All employees are required to adhere to our strict policies and any employee who violates the privacy policy is subject to termination and other disciplinary measures, up to being criminally prosecuted for their violation.

At TheEstatePlanningSource.com you can visit most pages on our site without giving us any information about yourself.  This privacy policy explains data collection and use in those situations.

If you decide to become a member at TheEstatePlanningSource.com, you will receive a short series of orientation emails.  Members may receive notification of new services, changes to policies or price adjustments. We will not send you other email at the address you provide, except for infrequent communications to resolve issues that may arise with your own TheEstatePlanningSource.com account. More routine announcements are made in the TheEstatePlanningSource.com Quill e-Newsletter, rather than via email.

Our site uses cookies to save your username and password if you become a member and decide to use the "Remember Me" option. This means you don't have to re-enter these items each time you visit our site.

At some point, we may track and store geo-location information related to your IP address. This information may be used to provide you with the most relevant material, as well as allow for more effective communications.

Under our Free Membership or upon download of the “Free Whitepaper” the user's contact information is also used to send a newsletter.  Special offers are sometimes sent to subscribers. All third parties do not have access to your information. You will always have the option of opting-out of future newsletters or offers.

We may also use personal information in a manner that does not identify you specifically nor allow you to be contacted but does identify certain criteria about our users in general. For example, we may inform third parties about the number of registered users, number of unique visitors, and the pages most frequently browsed.

Protection of Children's Personal Information

TheEstatePlanningSource.com is a specified audience site and does not knowingly collect any personal information from children although the website may be viewed by children; we do not wish to receive data from children. TheEstatePlanningSource.com encourages parents and guardians to spend time online with their children and to participate in the interactive activities offered on the sites their children visit. No information should be submitted to, or posted at, the TheEstatePlanningSource.com or our Forum or Blog by visitors under 18 years of age without the consent of their parent or guardian.

Links to Third Party Sites

This website contains links to other web sites that are not controlled by The Estate Planning Source, LLC or The Estate Plan, Inc. ("Third Party Sites"). Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every website that collects personally identifiable information. The Estate Planning Source, LLC and The Estate Plan, Inc. Privacy Policy applies solely to information collected by The Estate Plan, Inc. or The Estate Planning Source, LLC.

Changes to this Privacy Policy

The Estate Planning Source, LLC and The Estate Plan, Inc. when we do, we will also revise the "last updated" date at the bottom of the privacy policy. For material changes to this statement, The Estate Planning Source, LLC and The Estate Plan, Inc. will notify our users by placing prominent notice on the site.

Enforcement of this Privacy Policy and Contact Information

For any questions or concerns about this policy please contact us at 1.800.292.0223.  If you believe this policy has been breached please contact us at the above number.

 

Terms and Conditions

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Terms and Conditions 

Please Read These Terms and Conditions Carefully Before Using The Site.

By using TheEstatePlanningSource.com website, you agree to follow and be bound by these terms and conditions and agree to comply with all applicable laws and regulations described below.  If you do not agree to these terms and conditions, please do not use the site. Please note:  we may revise these terms and conditions at any time without notice to you.  If you have any questions regarding the terms and conditions, please contact us at 1.800.292.0223.

Please also refer to the Estate Planning Source, LLC and The Estate Plan, Inc. Privacy Policy, which is incorporated by reference herein.

Overview

Before using this website, you must review and accept the following terms and conditions (the “Agreement”). The Agreement defines your rights and responsibilities as a user ("User") of the website operated by Estate Planning Source, LLC. (Together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, “The Source” or “we”) and located at TheEstatePlanningSource.com (the “Website” or “The Source”). The Website is operated in the United States of America. Access is governed by these terms and conditions under the laws of the State of Nevada and the United States. Registration as a user of or subscriber to the Website results in your information being stored and processed in the United States, and you specifically consent to The Source’s storage and processing the personal data you submit. The Website and services provided herein are intended for adults. When a minor uses the Website, the parent or guardian of that minor will be held responsible for the minor’s actions. If you don't agree with any of these terms, or if you have any objections to our Privacy Policy you must not use the Website.

Description of the Service

The Source offers an online service where Users review and download marketing and occupational related content and tools (the “Service”). Users of the Website also communicate with other Users in order to collaborate and exchange related information (together with the Users of the Website and other websites and platforms owned by affiliate companies of The Source, including The Estate Plan, Inc., as “The Source Community”). The Website contains graphics, information, data, user generated information, editorial and other content accessible by Users (the “Content”). Except for Article and Case Study Content, which are governed by the third parties that created the content. The Website is protected by copyright as a collective work and/or compilation, pursuant to U.S. copyright laws, international conventions, and other copyright laws.

Ownership

This website TheEstatePlanningSource.com is owned and operated by Estate Planning Source, LLC. All right, title and interest in and to the materials provided on The Source and The Estate Plan, Inc including but not limited to information, documents, logos, graphics, sounds, and images (the "Materials") are owned either by The Source and The Estate Plan, Inc or by its respective third party authors, developers, or vendors ("Third Party Providers").  Except as otherwise expressly provided by The Source and The Estate Plan, Inc, none of the Materials may be copied, reproduced, republished, downloaded, uploaded, posted, displayed, transmitted, or distributed in any way and nothing on this Site shall be construed to confer any license under any of The Source and The Estate Plan, Inc or The Estate Plan, Inc’s intellectual property rights, whether by estoppel, implication, or otherwise. The Source or The Estate Plan, Inc does not sell, license, lease or otherwise provide any of the Materials other than those specifically identified as being provided by The Source and The Estate Plan, Inc. Any rights not expressly granted herein are reserved by The Source or The Estate Plan, Inc.

Rules of Conduct

Before using the Website, you agree to comply with all applicable laws and refrain from infringing any third-party rights or interests (for example, privacy and intellectual property rights). You must also agree that you will not knowingly or willfully submit inaccurate, defamatory or offensive Content to the Website. In addition, the following policies are part of this Agreement and must be followed anytime you access the Website. The Source reserves the right to change these policies from time to time and the changes take effect when we post them on the Website:

 A. Rules of Conduct; here are the rules that all The Source members and visitors to the website need to know and follow. These rules are created to protect you and the entire The Source community.

No The Source member or visitor to the website may:

A. Post, transmit, or display anything that is illegal, threatening, harmful, abusive or otherwise objectionable. For example, but not limited to, actions that are harassing, invasive of another's privacy, degrading, defamatory, vulgar, hateful, libelous, fraudulent, obscene, pornographic, sexually explicit, hateful or racially or ethnically objectionable.

B. Post, transmit, or display content which is protected by copyright or trademark or that does not belong to you and that you do not have authorization for use from the owner of the copyright or trademark, including but not limited to email messages.

C. Post, transmit, upload, or display content which contains proprietary or confidential information that you do not have a right to transmit. For example, but not limited to, posting any photos of living individuals without their permission or posting anyone else's email addresses without their consent.

D. Post or publish any information that you know is false or misleading. For example, but not limited to, impersonating any person or entity, or falsely misrepresenting your affiliation with any person or entity, or falsely claiming an endorsement that you do not have, or misrepresenting that you are an employee or representative of The Source or affiliated with The Source.

E. Post, transmit or make available advertising, promotional materials, junk mail, chain letters or any other form of solicitation.

F. Stalk or harass others. For example, but not limited to, using obscene, pornographic, sexually explicit, unlawful, threatening, abusive or vulgar language, or any other action that is hateful racially or ethnically, or is otherwise objectionable.

G. Reproduce, copy or sell any portion of The Source or The Source database contents, or systematically download contents and data of The Source database to make or populate another database or website or for any other purpose.

H. Interfere or attempt to interfere with The Source website. For example, but not limited to, using any software program, virus or routine to block, obscure, overwrite or modify any The Source-generated content or web pages, or to destroy the software, hardware or telecommunications equipment of another person.

I. Stalk or harass any The Source employee. For example, but not limited to, using obscene, pornographic, sexually explicit, unlawful, threatening, abusive or vulgar language to any The Source employee, or abusing The Source resources, such as misusing an The Source employee’s time.

J. Share your The Source member password with any unauthorized person, or permit a child under the age of 18 to publish information or post content under your The Source membership.

K. Use the Websites for any illegal activity, or provide material which promotes or teaches illegal activity.

This list is not exclusive. The Source prohibits members or any other person from engaging in any activity that The Source, in its sole discretion, determines is offensive, interferes with the rights of others, or causes harm to any person, including to The Source and its employees. Violation of, or acting inconsistently with, the letter or spirit of our rules may result, in appropriate consequences and at our sole discretion, suspension, cancellation or termination of the accounts of the offending user, and such violation may result in the forfeiture of any and all fees that the User has already paid to be a member of the Service or any other fee. The preceding sentence shall not in any way limit any other remedy, legal, equitable or otherwise, that The Source may pursue.

B. Community Guidelines: If we believe, in our sole discretion, that you are in breach of this Agreement or are acting inconsistently with the letter or spirit of this Agreement, we may limit, suspend or terminate your access to our Website. In such a case, no portion of your subscription payment will be refunded. Should we decide to suspend your access for any reason other than a breach by you, we will not refund you which will be your sole and exclusive remedy upon such a suspension.

Welcome to the world's largest online community dedicated to living trusts and estate planning. This is your chance to share ideas. Ask questions. Offer advice. Forge meaningful connections. Make groundbreaking discoveries. Overall, it's an opportunity to collaborate and share with your peers and other community members interested in estate planning.

The more active you are in The Source, the more you'll get out of it.

These guidelines will help you and others enjoy your experience. However, please remember that all use of the site is governed by the terms and conditions relating to them, which take precedence over these guidelines.

Community Values

Our community comprises The Source and The Estate Plan, all of which encourage open and frequent communication between members.

Here are the core beliefs behind our community:  

Everyone has something to contribute to the community.

Honest, open communication is essential, but it must be delivered with respect for other members' thoughts and expressions.

Member Conduct and Use

This community is your forum for sharing thoughts, experiences, resources and discoveries. We appreciate your participation. However, we ask that you carefully read and follow the guidelines below. You'll find that most of them come naturally to you.

As a community member, please: 

Simply treat others the way you want to be treated.

Respond to the subject (and not the person) if you disagree with something in a post.

Share only your own thoughts, ideas and content.

Post only information appropriate for a given topic. For example, if you're posting on the "The Watercooler" Forum, you should be writing only in reference to estate planning topics.

On the other hand, please: 

Don't post any photos of living individuals (other than just you) or anyone else's email addresses without their consent.

Don't harass abuse or threaten other members.

Don't post any content that's vulgar, hateful, sexually explicit, illegal or otherwise offensive.

Don't post commercial messages, fee-for-service postings, advertising or related links, etc.

Don't include identifiable information about living people without their direct consent, or, in the case of minors, the consent of their parent or guardian. This includes (but is not limited to) a person's full name, location or contact information.

Don't post anything you didn't personally create. That includes copyrighted material you're not authorized to distribute and email messages.

Don't impersonate any individual, business or other entity. Don't pretend to be an employee or representative of The Source or anyone affiliated with The Source or The Estate Plan. Inc.

Don't post a "seeking information" (query) message with a non-query (data) menu classification selection.

We reserve the right to delete messages that violate our terms and conditions, move messages posted in the wrong place and edit the surname field, subject line, etc. in any message. We reserve the right to do any of the above without notice in order to preserve community integrity and ensure that people can find what they're seeking.

Member-Contributed Content

We do not pre-screen or monitor member-contributed content. Please let us know if you encounter material that you feel is inappropriate under these guidelines or violates our terms and conditions.

We can't be responsible for the content our members create and share in the community. However, we do reserve the right to remove any postings that disregard the above guidelines or violate our terms and conditions. Serious violations or offenses will subject the responsible member to account termination.

Important Note: Any information you post in our community is public and can be copied, modified and distributed by others. By submitting or posting content in our community, you expressly grant The Source the rights set forth in the terms and conditions.

We may modify these guidelines from time to time. Please check back regularly for updates.  Nothing on this site should be construed as legal or tax advice.

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Terms for All

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Any sweepstakes, contests, raffles or other promotions (collectively, “Promotions”) made available by The Source may be governed by rules that are separate from this Agreement. If you participate in any Promotions, please review the applicable rules as well as our Privacy Policy.  If the rules for a Promotion conflict with this Agreement, the Promotion rules will apply.

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Minors are not eligible to use the Site, and we ask that they do not submit any personal information to us.

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By using this Site, you expressly agree that your rights and obligations shall be governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of the State of Nevada, excluding its choice of law rules. Any legal action or proceeding relating to your access to or sue of the Site or Materials shall be instituted in a state or federal court in Nevada, and in the County of Washoe. You and The Source agree to submit to the jurisdiction of, and agree that venue is proper in, these courts in any such legal action or proceeding. These terms of use expressly exclude and disclaim the terms of the U.N. Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, which shall not apply to any transaction conducted through or otherwise involving this Site.

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All Site design, text, graphics, the selection and arrangement thereof, Copyright © 2012, Estate Planning Source, LLC and The Estate Plan, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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If a dispute arises between you and The Source, our goal is to provide you a neutral and cost effective means of resolving the dispute quickly. To that end, you agree to first contact The Source Customer Support at 1.800.292.0223 to describe the problem and seek a resolution. If that does not resolve the issue, then you and The Source agree to the following methods to resolve any dispute or claim between us. First, you agree that this Agreement is governed by the law of the State of Nevada, without regard to its principles on conflicts of laws, and the federal law of the United States of America. Second, you agree that you will seek arbitration consistent with the rules before initiating any litigation. If arbitration cannot resolve the issue, you agree to submit to the personal jurisdiction of the courts located within Washoe County, Nevada for the purpose of litigating all such claims or disputes.

Any arbitration will be governed by the Commercial Dispute Resolution Procedures and the Supplementary Procedures for Consumer Related Disputes of the American Arbitration Association (collectively, "AAA Rules"). The AAA Rules and costs are available online at www.adr.org or by calling the AAA at 1.800.292.0223. YOU AND THE SOURCE AGREE THAT EACH MAY BRING CLAIMS AGAINST THE OTHER ONLY IN YOUR OR ITS INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY AND NOT AS A PLAINTIFF OR CLASS MEMBER IN ANY PURPORTED CLASS OR REPRESENTATIVE PROCEEDING. Further, unless both you and The Source agree otherwise, the arbitrator may not consolidate more than one person’s claims, and may not otherwise preside over any form of a representative or class proceeding. Notwithstanding the foregoing, this arbitration agreement does not preclude you from bringing issues to the attention of federal, state, or local agencies. Such agencies can, if the law allows, seek relief against us on your behalf.  This arbitration provision shall survive termination of this Agreement.

Miscellaneous

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Any failure by us to enforce any term of the terms of this Agreement shall not affect our right to require performance at any subsequent time, nor shall the waiver by us of any breach by you of any provisions of these terms be taken to be a waiver of the provision or provisions itself.

You agree to indemnify us against all liabilities, claims and expenses that may arise from any breach of this Agreement by you or otherwise as a result of your use of the Services or Website.

Official correspondence must be sent via postal mail to:

The Estate Planning Source
Attn: Customer Solutions
730 Sandhill Road, Suite 120
Reno, NV 89521

This Agreement, including any terms, conditions and policies expressly referenced herein, shall constitute the complete understanding and agreement between you and us, and shall supersede and cancel any prior or contemporaneous understandings and agreements, except as expressly provided otherwise by The Source.

 

Become an Affiliate

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JOIN OUR INDEPENDENT NATIONWIDE NETWORK

 

ATTORNEY

As an attorney in our Licensed Attorney Network, you will be able to provide the finest estate planning document packages to your clients, matured through more than 1,000 network attorneys, and utilize our excellent support services as your back office. Our system allows you to build the estate planning portion of your business by receiving referrals from our network of Independent Advisors, save valuable time on research of federal law changes, and reduce the cost of generating new clients.  View more

ADVISOR or Financial Planners

As an Independent Advisor you will be able to support your client from start-to-finish by assisting in the non-legal aspects of the estate planning process.  This includes educating your clients on estate planning concepts, gathering information, working in conjunction with an attorney who is affiliated with our network, to create a living trust, aiding in the execution and funding of the trust, and assisting with the settlement process.  View more

 

 

Our History

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OUR HISTORY

In the beginning…

This company began as a corporation called The Estate Plan founded by Henry Abts, III. He came up with the idea to help others out of his own personal suffering through the unforeseen process of probate that his mother had to bear. It was such a traumatic experience that he figured there had to be an alternative, something that he and others could do to avoid it. During this time he was pursuing a career in financial and personal estate planning and discovered the Living Trust was the key to avoiding probate. The beginning of The Estate Plan thus was created, a business model that had two objectives; educate the public about alternatives to probate; and second, supply clients with the solution of a proper estate planning program. It then grew into creating a set of living trust documents designed to cover the majority of circumstances in the general public but with the ability to tailor to each person’s individual needs. These documents could be used by attorneys very easily in their practice by assessing the client’s needs and applying them to the ready-made living trust. It was a win-win with the attorneys providing a quality trust and Henry peace of mind that the people are being served well.

The Living Trust book was created

After he met with more than a thousand clients from coast to coast he decided to write a book. The Living Trust book was created in 1989 and has since sold over 1 million copies and is considered the “bible of the industry.” The Estate Plan was now the only nationwide Living Trust Company whose trust documents were valid in all 50 states and has produced over 60,000 trusts.

The Institute for Estate Preservation was formed

Approximately 10 years ago Henry decided he wanted to train those who used the Living Trust documents (attorneys) not only to create a consistency and understanding of the documents throughout the company but in his high quality standards and ethics.  What he created is still being practiced today, The Institute for Estate Preservation in both basic and advanced levels. These institutes are typically viewed as just another training institute by those who’ve never attended; however, they are quite the contrary. There is rarely someone who attends that says it was not helpful or that they did not learn something new. Both The Estate Plan staff and Henry himself taught at the Institutes, he was always very passionate about his idea of reaching out to everyone who would listen.

Transitioning into the digital age

Unfortunately, in July of 2010 Henry passed away in his sleep at his home in Incline Village, Lake Tahoe. Although Henry was in his 80′s he was still very passionate about “Taking the Message to All Who Will Listen” his infamous quote amongst his community. He left this for us to carry forward which we are excited to not only carry forward but expand in new and better ways.

We are now in a digital age where it’s essentially “out with the old and in with the new.” What used to work is now obsolete regarding so many aspects in this industry. We are working diligently to transition by first, creating this robust website which hosts a wealth of estate planning information, knowledge, tools and tips and second, re-writing our current proprietary software into a cloud solution allowing our estate planning back office document model to be accessible online as well as including all new features to satisfy the end user in a way never thought possible. We are certain with both in place; we will be well beyond all of our competitors and will have created an entirely new way of doing business in this industry.

 

Top 5 Estate Planning Mistakes

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I recently read a report that suggested that only about 20 percent of the population has a formal estate plan. After reviewing the points below, please take a minute to consider whether it's time for you to create or update your estate plan.

Here are five estate planning mistakes that people make that can be avoided.

1. Dying without a will or trust - If you die without a will or trust, the state in which you reside and the IRS will simply make one for you.  Of course, they have no interest in avoiding or reducing estate taxes, minimizing estate administration costs or protecting your family and legacy. The distribution of your assets will just be turned over to the Probate Court. The probate process is needlessly time consuming, frustrating and expensive. It is also open to the public, meaning creditors, predators or anyone else will have complete access to all information about your estate. For the vast majority of people, the benefits far outweigh any initial costs.

2. Having an "I love you" will – An”I love you” will is one in which all the decedent's assets have been left to the spouse. On paper, it might seem to be a caring, thoughtful gesture, but the reality is quite different, because such a will simply passes the complex issues and problems associated with transferring and protecting wealth onto the spouse or other loved ones.  It creates more problems than it solves, particularly for future generations.

3. Giving property outright to your children - Here is another solution that might sound good at first, but ignores several important realities. For instance, what if the child in question is too immature to handle the responsibility of a large sum of money on his or her own? What if the child suffers a severe financial setback that puts the inheritance at risk to creditors?  What if the child marries a fortune-hunter, is addicted to drugs or alcohol, gets divorced or remarried? You may need to protect your children and heirs from their own poor decisions.  These assets are also gifted assets which carry potentially large IRS penalties if not handled properly.

4. Owning property jointly - There are two types of joint ownership, Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship (JTWROS) and Tenants in Common (TIC).  Problems with JTWROS include postponement of probate only until last tenancy, the loss of the double step-up in tax basis creating more to pay in capital gains taxes, and outright distribution.  With TIC, you also lose the double step-up in tax basis where it's available, and your property is subject to the estate plan of each tenant as well as probate for each tenant.

5. Not having a trust - A trust is the single most effective estate planning tool available. There are many different types of trusts.  Among the better known and more commonly used are revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts and testamentary trusts. A Trust protects your privacy, and will help you leave what you want, to whom you want, in the way you want at the lowest possible cost overall.  The additional advantage is that you avoid Probate altogether, which means that the settlement of the living trust will be done swiftly, without court or attorney's involvement, in contrast to having only an "I love you" Will.

Advisor Affiliate Details-Sign up (Link on Advisor Sub Tab and Advisor button pgs)

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Attorney Affiliation Details Page.Advisors

_____________________________________________________________________

HOW OUR DOCUMENT PROCESS WORKS FOR ADVISORS

1.  Once your application has been approved,  you will receive a sample trust (full binder) customized to your home state, a training manual, a sample client workbook, and The Living Trust book by Henry Abts III.

2.  When you have a client you will  input their information into our client workbook (provided online); then you will provide the workbook to an attorney in our network to create the trust.

3.  The attorney will send us the client/trust information electronically; we will then prepare the documents and ship them by FedEx to you or the attorney’s door within 2 weeks.  (A mini-summary is printed in addition to printing the trust and provided in the shipment for the attorney to forward to you.)

AFFILIATION DETAILS

Once your application is approved, you are set-up as an affiliate in our Independent Advisor Network.  There is a $175 annual affiliation fee processed through automatic renewal at the end of your fiscal year from the date of sign up.  You will receive notification from us in advance of the auto-renewal transaction of $175 providing you the option to either approve or decline another year of affiliation.  Everything listed below is included in your affiliation.

TRAINING/EDUCATION INCLUDED

A training course is included in your sign-up fee, The Basic Institute for the Estate Preservation is offered several times a year (also known as New Affiliate Training).  It is necessary to complete this course within your first year of affiliation.  We require this course because we have found it to be extremely valuable in your performance and success.  We've gathered over 28 years of proven results.  For information on The Basic Institute for the Estate Preservation please click here.

RESOURCE CENTER INCLUDED

You will have access to the Affiliate Resource Center.  This is a password protected area you will be given access to utilize numerous tools and resources at your fingertips.  It includes items such as forms, marketing materials, workbooks, etc.

REFERRALS INCLUDED

We offer free referrals/leads to our trusted affiliate network that are generated through The Living Trust book and through our websites.

EXPERT SUPPORT INCLUDED

We offer expert support for client estate planning solutions (strategy), developing business strategies, tracking changes in federal law and tax code that will impact the industry, and keeping you alert of the changes through email, your Affiliate membership to the website, and our newsletter The Source.

AFFILIATE MEMBERSHIP INCLUDED

Access to all estate planning articles, monthly The Source newsletter, all 5 minute videos/podcasts, all 10 minute videos, all online seminars(1 hour or more in length), all case studies, access to the forum and blog, 25% off education, 45% off all Institutes, access to all infographics, Tools to Grow Your Business and to the “Affiliate Resource Center”.

HOW TO GET STARTED NOW, EASY AS 1-2-3

1. Request Information & Application Packet, please fill out the application and submit it by emailing it to us at alliances@tepsource.com or fax to 775-828-4444.

2. Once we receive the application, we will review and approve it.   Any application that is not accepted will receive a full refund or not be processed.  We will contact you upon approval and payment.

3. We will send to you by FedEx ground, a sample trust (full binder) for your state, a training manual, a sample client workbook, and The Living Trust book by Henry Abts III.  We require you attend an educational training course within one year of sign up; The Basic Institute for Estate Preservation is available online as well.  The training manual you will receive is for this training course.  

Join Now for Website CROPPED

One-time Set Up fee: 695.00
Advisor Information & Application Packet

Membership- General Overview

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JOIN OUR INDEPENDENT NATIONWIDE NETWORK

The Estate Plan Network

 ATTORNEY

As an attorney in our Licensed Attorney Network, you will be able to provide the finest estate planning document packages to your clients, matured through nearly 30 years and a 1,000 network attorneys, and utilize our excellent support services as your back office. Our system allows you to build the estate planning portion of your business by receiving referrals from our network of Independent Advisors, save valuable time on research of federal law changes, document processing and reduce the cost of generating new clients. View more


PLANNING PROFESSIONALS

As an Independent Advisor in our professional network, you will be able to support your client from start-to-finish by assisting in the non-legal aspects of the estate planning process.  This includes educating your clients on estate planning concepts, gathering information, working in conjunction with an attorney in our network, to create important planning documents, a living trust, aiding in the execution and funding of the trust, and assisting with the settlement process.  View more


FREE

Access to free estate planning articles containing basic information, The "Source" e-newsletter and more.

Register for the "Source" e-newsletter here

Attorneys

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Attorney Affiliation Details Page

 

 

Request Information & Application Packet

 

As an attorney in our Licensed Attorney Network, you will be able to provide the finest estate planning document packages to your clients, matured through more than 1,000 network attorneys, and utilize our excellent support services as your back office. Our system allows you to build the estate planning portion of your business by receiving referrals from our network of Independent Advisors, save valuable time on research of federal law changes, and reduce the cost of generating new clients.

  1.  Once approved, you will receive a custom software program designed to generate documents by state, a sample client Workbook, and a sample trust (full binder) for your state.
  2. Input the client information into the software; send the information electronically to our main office.
  3. We will prepare the documents and ship them by FedEx to your door within 2 weeks.  An email with a PDF attachment of the trust will be automatically sent to you at time of shipping.

 

Please note: We will work with each attorney on special requests, for example, we are happy to email a draft of the documents prior to print for any additional changes at no charge. 

Training/Education Course INCLUDED

A training course is included in your set-up fee, The Basic Institute for the Estate Preservation is offered several times a year.  It is necessary to complete this course within your first year of affiliation.  We require this course because we have found it to be extremely valuable in your performance and success.  We've gathered nearly 30 years of proven results.  For information on The Basic Institute for the Estate Preservation please click here.

Resource Center INCLUDED

You will have access to the Affiliate Resource Center.  This is a password protected area you will be given access to utilize numerous tools and resources at your fingertips.  It includes items such as articles, educational materials, forms, marketing materials, workbooks and more.

Referrals INCLUDED

We offer free referrals to our trusted Network professionals that are generated through The Living Trust book and through our websites.

Expert Support INCLUDED

We offer expert support for client estate planning solutions (strategy), developing business strategies, tracking changes in federal law and tax code that will impact the industry, and keeping you alert of the changes through email, your Affiliate membership to the website, and our newsletter The Source.

Affiliate Membership INCLUDED

ACCESS TO ALL:  Articles, The Source e-newsletter, Videos, Seminars, Case Studies, the Forum and Blog, 25% off Education, 45% off Training Institutes, Infographics, Tools and the Affiliate Resource Center.

Additional Affiliation Details:

There is a one-time set-up fee of 695.00. When your application is approved,  you are set-up as an affiliated professional in our network.  There is a $175 annual affiliation fee processed through automatic renewal at the end of your fiscal year from the date of approval.

GET STARTED NOW... Easy as 1-2-3

1. Request your Information & Application Packet, please print, fill out and submit it by faxing to 775-828-4444 or emailing it to alliances@tepsource.com 

2. Once we receive your completed application, we will review it and once approved, it will be processed. (Any application that is not accepted will receive a full refund or not be processed.)

3. We will send, by FedEx ground, your custom software, a sample trust (full binder) for your state, a sample client workbook, and The Living Trust book by Henry Abts III.  Included in your sign up price is our educational training course; The Basic Institute for Estate Preservation, it is recommended you attend this course at your earliest convenience.  The training manual you will receive is for this training course.

 

Get Started Today!
Attorney Information & Application Packet

 

Advisors

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Attorney Affiliation Details Page.Advisors

__________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Request an Information Packet

 

As an Independent Advisor in our professional network, you will be able to support your client from start-to-finish by assisting in the non-legal aspects of the estate planning process.  This includes educating your clients on estate planning concepts, gathering information, working in conjunction with an attorney in our network, to create important planning documents, a living trust, aiding in the execution and funding of the trust, and assisting with the settlement process. 

1.  Once your application has been approved,  you will receive a sample trust (full binder) customized to your home state, a training manual, a sample client workbook, and The Living Trust book by Henry Abts III.

2.  When you have a client you will  input their information into our client workbook (provided online); then you will provide the workbook to an attorney in our network to create the trust.

3.  The attorney will send us the client/trust information electronically; we will then prepare the documents and ship them by FedEx to you or the attorney’s door within 2 weeks.  (A mini-summary is printed in addition to printing the trust and provided in the shipment for the attorney to forward to you.)

Training/Education INCLUDED

A training course is included in your set-up fee, The Basic Institute for the Estate Preservation is offered several times a year.  It is necessary to complete this course within your first year of affiliation.  We require this course because we have found it to be extremely valuable in your performance and success.  We've gathered nearly 30 years of proven results.  For information on The Basic Institute for the Estate Preservation please click here.

Resource Center INCLUDED

You will have access to the Affiliate Resource Center.  This is a password protected area you will be given access to utilize numerous tools and resources at your fingertips.  It includes items such as articles, educational material, forms, marketing materials, workbooks and more.

Referrals INCLUDED

We offer free referrals to our trusted network professionals that are generated through The Living Trust book and through our website.

Expert Support INCLUDED

We offer education and expert support for client estate planning solutions (strategy), developing business strategies, tracking changes in federal law and tax code that will impact the industry, and keeping you alert of the changes through email, your Affiliate membership to the website, and our newsletter The Source.

Affiliate Membership INCLUDED

ACCESS TO ALL:  Articles, The Source e-newsletter, Videos, Seminars, Case Studies, the Forum and Blog, 25% off Education, 45% off Training Institutes, Infographics, Tools and the Affiliate Resource Center.

ADDITIONAL AFFILIATION DETAILS

There is a one-time set-up fee of 695.00. When your application is approved,  you are set-up as an affiliated professional in our network.  There is a $175 annual affiliation fee processed through automatic renewal at the end of your fiscal year from the date of approval.  

HOW TO GET STARTED

1. Request your Information & Application Packet, please fill it out and submit it by faxing to 775-828-4444 or emailing it to alliances@tepsource.com 

2. Once we receive the application, we will review and approve it.  We will contact you upon approval and payment. (Any application that is not accepted will receive a full refund or not be processed.)

3. We will send, by FedEx ground, a sample trust (full binder) for your state, a sample client workbook, and The Living Trust book by Henry Abts III.  Included in your set-up fee is our educational training course; The Basic Institute for Estate Preservation, it is recommended you attend this course at your earliest convenience, and modules are now available online if you prefer to get a quick start.  The training manual you will receive is for this training course.

Get Started Today!
Advisor Information & Application Packet

 

Document Solutions

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Comprehensive Estate Planning Documents - Revocable Living Trusts - Will Package - Ancillary Documents

What Gives Our Documents the Leading Edge?

Detailed and comprehensive, these documents have been developed through nearly 30 years of hands-on improvement by hundreds of attorneys throughout the US resulting in thousands of satisfied clients. They are drafted to ensure accuracy with current state and federal laws, and are updated as changes occur.

The Revocable Living Trust contains over 222 carefully worded provisions so that the trust can accommodate a client’s changing circumstances and to cover additional contingent situations without needing to be legally modified.  The trust is also universal; that is applicable in all 50 states, for a client may eventually own property in or even move to another state.

I Would Like an Advisor to Contact Me to Discuss My Estate Planning Needs

Here is a list of what our package includes:

  • 1 set of Ancillary Documents per person (DPOA for assets, DPOA for healthcare or Advanced Directive, Living Will, Nomination of Conservator, Appointment of Guardian, and Anatomical Gift)
  • Abstract of Trust
  • Trust Certification
  • Pour-Over Will
  • Assignment of Furnishings and Personal Effects
  • 1 three-ring professional quality binder with tabs and inserts
  • 1 set of quality documents with Plain English summaries
  • Funding Manual

We offer a wide variety of estate planning solutions and documents customized at your direction.

Nationally Transportable Living Trusts

Single A Trust
Married A Trust
Married/Unmarried AB Trust
Married ABC Trust
A Q-TIP Trust (for married person)
Partner AA Trust
Partner AB Secure Trust (for Domestic Partners)
Complete Amendment
Partial Amendment

Vital Ancillary Documents

There are a number of other legal documents that are not legally required parts of the Living Trust but which should be included in or with the Trust to provide for future contingencies. Our ancillary documents offer you additional control over your person or assets. These documents are so vital; they are included, at no additional charge as part of your comprehensive document package.

Pour-Over Will
Living Will
Durable Power Of Attorney For Health Care
Durable Power Of Attorney For Assets
Nomination Of Conservator/Guardian
Appointment Of Guardian
Anatomical Gift

Advanced Planning Vehicles

Because many individuals have needs that go beyond basic estate planning, we offer numerous Advanced Estate Planning Solutions that can be incorporated into your overall estate plan. These documents should be considered as a supplement to your Living Trust to shelter your hard-earned estate from unnecessary estate taxes.

■Asset Management Trust (Spendthrift Trust)
■Beneficiary Trust (Dynasty)
■Buy/Sell Agreement
■Catastrophic Illness Trust (Medicaid Planning Trust)
■Charitable Remainder Trust
■Family Catastrophic Illness Trust
■Gift Trust
■Insurance Preservation Trust- Spousal Support (ILIT)
■Insurance Preservation Trust (ILIT)
■IRA/Qualified Plan Trust
■Land Trust
■Special Needs

“A POORLY WRITTEN TRUST IS WORSE THAN NO TRUST AT ALL.” Henry Abts, III

A poorly drawn trust can become a restrictive nightmare for the surviving spouse or successor trustee and beneficiaries. As long as the clients are living, it does not matter what a Living Trust says, because it can always be revoked. However, upon the death of the client, these poorly written Trusts are going to end up in probate court, with petitions being presented to revise or clarify the Trust wording. (Even though the main advantage of a Living Trust is to avoid probate, a Trust falls under the legal jurisdiction of the probate code; any need for clarification of a Trust therefore must be handled in the probate courts.)

One size does not fit all – no two people or families are alike! Your family’s needs, dynamics, personalities, and values are unique. If you use a form kit, you are asking for problems. Even LegalZoom.com reveals that 80% of people who fill in blank forms to create legal documents do so incorrectly. Plus, if your Will or Living Trust is not executed properly, it becomes invalid. If you overlook the opportunity to write specific instructions about how you want to provide for your spouse and children, your family will receive whatever the “cookie cutter” document provides, and you may not know of other options. The only estate plan you rely on is the one that is custom prepared by a qualified estate planning professional attorney.

A well-written comprehensive trust document comes about only through extensive experience. The Estate Planning Source’s trust documents are the result of more than 28 years of working together with legal counsel to cover every imaginable contingency.

I would like an Advisor to contact me to discuss my Estate Planning needs

I would like to view more on The Estate Planning Source’s Advisor Network

I would like to view more on The Estate Planning Source’s Attorney Network

Training & Education

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THE ADVANCED INSTITUTE FOR ESTATE PRESERVATION

LIVE ADVANCED INSTITUTE - AUGUST 14-16, 2017 - RENO NEVADA

The Advanced Institute is a professional training course that offers an extensive education on current topics affecting your estate planning practice.  Each subject is presented by an expert in the industry.  An example of training topics are Medicaid and Veterans Planning, When a Corporate Trustee is Necessary, The Power of Trust Provisions, IRA Trust Planning, Settling the Estate, and more.  The Basic Institute course is preferred prior to attending this course.

THE BASIC INSTITUTE FOR ESTATE PRESERVATION

The Basic Institute is a professional training course that offers a solid education on living trusts, solutions for clients and higher net worth clients using advanced planning concepts, how to properly execute and fund a revocable living trust, steps for estate settlement, available marketing materials and how to use them, and where to look to potentially unlock new business and more.

TOPICS YOU WILL LEARN IN THE BASIC ESTATE PRESERVATION TRAINING INSTITUTE

The History of the Living Trust and Its Relevance Today
The Dangers of Probate
The Revocable Living Trust System
The Revocable Living Trust – 222 Provisions
Ancillary Documents in a Good Trust System
The Planning Team and Avoiding the Unauthorized Practice of Law
Client Generation, Marketing, and New Internet Systems
Advanced Planning Vehicles
The Estate Planning Client Process
Building Estate Planning Office Systems
Working with The Estate Planning Source
Putting Your Plans in Motion
Case Studies

ONLINE TRAINING & EDUCATION

Various information, training and educational material available to network professionals

Who We Help

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JOIN OUR INDEPENDENT NATIONWIDE NETWORK

 

ATTORNEY

As an attorney in our Licensed Attorney Network, you will be able to provide the finest estate planning document packages to your clients, matured through more than 1,000 network attorneys, and utilize our excellent support services as your back office. Our system allows you to build the estate planning portion of your business by receiving referrals from our network of Independent Advisors, save valuable time on research of federal law changes, and reduce the cost of generating new clients.  View more

ADVISOR or Financial Planners

As an Independent Advisor you will be able to support your client from start-to-finish by assisting in the non-legal aspects of the estate planning process.  This includes educating your clients on estate planning concepts, gathering information, working in conjunction with an attorney who is affiliated with our network, to create a living trust, aiding in the execution and funding of the trust, and assisting with the settlement process.  View more

 

 

About Us

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About Us

As a leading national document fulfillment organization, The Estate Planning Source (TheEstatePlanningSource.com) offers one the finest revocable living trust document packages available, matured through more than 1,000 Network attorneys.

Acting as a "back office" for attorneys, the associates at The Estate Planning Source prepare requested documents, customizing, printing, and assembling a trust package. To date, the company has finalized over 60,000 trusts. Detailed and comprehensive, these trust documents have been developed through years of hands-on improvement by hundreds of attorneys throughout the United States resulting in thousands of satisfied clients. They are drafted to ensure accuracy with current state and federal laws, and are updated as changes occur.

The Estate Planning Source has a national Network of attorneys and financial planners, making its business model one of the most unique in the industry. Together, advisors and attorneys work as a team to help their clients obtain the best documents for their estate. This team aspect helps attorneys strengthen their business, while the advisor is able to support their client from start to finish by assisting with the non-legal aspects of the estate planning process.

Based in Reno, Nevada, the company continues to both streamline the living trust documentation process and educate the general public in choosing trusts as an alternative to traditional wills through TheEstatePlanningSource.com.

We strive to protect our fellow Americans from the evils of probate. We do so by recruiting and training reputable, knowledgeable and experienced Network Attorneys and Financial Advisors and provide them with the most comprehensive and up-to-date estate planning documents so they can offer all-inclusive estate planning services to the American public from concept through final settlement.

TheEstatePlanningSource Disclaimer

HOME PAGE

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As a leading national document fulfillment organization, The Estate Planning Source offers one of the finest revocable living trust document packages available, matured through more than 1,000 network attorneys.

Acting as a "back office" for attorneys, the associates at The Estate Planning Source prepare requested documents, customizing, printing, and assembling a trust package.  To date the company has finalized over 60,000 trusts. Detailed and comprehensive, these trust documents have been developed through years of hands-on improvement by hundreds of attorneys throughout the United States resulting in thousands of satisfied clients. They are drafted to ensure accuracy with current state and federal laws, and are updated as changes occur.

The Estate Planning Source has a national network of attorneys and financial planners, making its business model one of the most unique in the industry.  Together, advisors and attorneys work as a team to help their clients obtain the best documents for their estate. This team aspect helps attorneys strengthen their business, while the advisor is able to support their client from start to finish by assisting with the non-legal aspects of the estate planning process.

Based in Reno, Nevada, the company continues to both streamline the living trust documentation process and educate the general public in choosing trusts as an alternative to traditional wills through TheEstatePlanningSource.com.

You’re Young; Do You Need an Estate Plan?

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While the trend these days is for people to live well into their 80s and 90s, I'm hearing more and more about the unexpected deaths of people in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. During my 15 years of practice I've met with my fair share of young widows or widowers or the parents of a child who died unexpectedly, and in all cases but one there wasn't any estate planning done. And even in the one estate where the deceased husband did have a will, it had been written while he was still single and lived in New Jersey and it hadn't been updated after the birth of his child, his second marriage, or even after the couple moved to Florida. What a mess that was to deal with and I hate to say this, but in the big picture the young family probably would have been better off without any will at all instead of an extremely old and out of date will. I can't emphasize enough how important it is for everyone, young and old alike, to have an estate plan. But as my example of the young husband who failed to update his will after major changes in his life demonstrates, that's really not enough. You also need to make sure that all of the important documents that are included in your estate plan - wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance medical directives - are kept up to date and change as your family, finances, and the law change. This will require a yearly meeting with your estate planning attorney, but that's OK because you need to understand that estate planning is not a one shot deal but an ongoing process. And the time to start the process or continue the process is now.

In a 2004 survey conducted by Lawyers.com, the two most frequent reasons adult Americans cited for not having an estate plan were insufficient assets and not being old enough to need a plan. Sadly, those who hold these beliefs are greatly mistaken. With life's ups and downs comes the need for basic estate planning for both the young and old alike. Here are six estate planning tips for young singles and couples that can nonetheless be used by singles and couples of all ages.

1. Don't Rule Out a Prenuptial Agreement If you are young and do not think that you need a prenuptial agreement before getting married, think again. Many circumstances warrant at least considering a prenuptial agreement, including being involved in a family-owned business or owning your own business; having part of your paycheck stashed away in a 401(k) or other retirement plan; the possibility of inheriting assets from your family; owning a residence that will be used as the marital home; or marrying someone who has already accumulated a large amount of debt. A prenuptial agreement can protect what assets you currently have or significant assets that you expect to inherit, and can also protect you from your spouse-to-be's debts acquired before the marriage.

2. Make an Estate Plan for Medical Emergencies Twenty-six year old Terri Schiavo of Florida certainly did not anticipate slipping into a coma in 1990 and then having her husband and parents fight over her medical care and ultimate wishes for the next 15 years. Planning for medical emergencies is a must for everyone and should include the signing of two important legal documents called a Living Will and an Advance Medical Directive.

3. Make an Estate Plan for Financial Emergencies If you are out of the country on business and your spouse is at home trying to sell the house, or if you are in an accident and expected to fully recover but will be in the hospital for a while, then you will need a Durable Power of Attorney to allow your spouse or other person of your choice to manage your finances and sign legal documents on your behalf.

4. Make an Estate Plan for an Untimely Death Planning for an untimely death is important, particularly if you are in a committed relationship and/or have young children. If you fail to make an estate plan, then the state where you live at the time of your death will make one for you and in most situations the plan will not be what you would have wanted had you taken the time to make your own plan. Aside from this, assets titled in your individual name will need to be probated to transfer them into your beneficiaries' names after you die. Having at least a basic Last Will and Testament in place that puts someone in charge of settling your estate and names your preferred beneficiaries and a guardian for your minor children will give your loved ones peace of mind during a difficult time.

5. Make an Estate Plan for Your Minor Children Even if you do not think that you have enough money or property to need an estate plan, you will need to make a plan if you have minor children. If you do not, then control of the minor's inheritance will be taken over by a court-supervised guardian or conservator. Then, depending on the laws of the state where the minor lives, when the minor reaches the age of 18 or 21 all of the remaining guardianship funds will be turned over to the young adult, free and clear of any guidance or strings attached. Aside from this, if you and the other parent of your children both die while the children are still minors, then the children will become wards of the court until a judge can decide who the children should live with until they become adults.

6. Buy Term Life Insurance When you are young, term life insurance is really cheap and can offer your family financial security if you were to die prematurely. The insurance proceeds can be used for things such as paying off your outstanding medical and credit card bills; paying off your mortgage; replacing your lost income; paying for your children's care and education; and/or paying for a live in nanny, day care or after school care. Term life insurance is also easy to buy these days with services like Intelliquote, Quickquote and Reliaquote. Or, if you are offered term life insurance at work, buy it.

Everyone Needs an Estate Plan

Estate planning is not just for older or wealthy people. Younger people, especially those with minor children, need to have a will and estate plan in place in order to give instructions to their loved ones to follow in the event of a debilitating accident or untimely death. Celebrities like Heath Ledger, Anna Nicole Smith (also known as Vickie Lynn Marshall), Princess Diana, John F. Kennedy, Jr., Janis Joplin, Michael Jackson, and, most recently, Brittany Murphy, all died unexpectedly, and yet each and every one of them had a will and estate plan. It's just common sense.

Julie's Wills & Estate Planning Blog

Three Documents You Shouldn’t Do Without

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Nobody plans to get crippled by an accident or immobilized by a terrible illness, but these sudden life-changing events do happen. In estate planning there are three particular documents individuals need to ensure they have a say in who manages their finances and health care should they become incapacitated. Failure to secure these documents could significantly reduce the amount that eventually goes to your loved ones or even break a family apart. Here we outline some problems that result from poor estate planning and demonstrate the importance of 1) a durable power of attorney, 2) medical power of attorney and 3) a living will.

The Hardships of Negligence 

Here's an example of how inadequate estate planning can put loved ones in a painful position.

After her husband died, eighty-nine year-old Thelma did not think it was necessary to meet with an attorney to review her estate plan. Thelma had always managed her own finances and never told her four children how much she was worth and where it was invested. Her plan was simply to have the children split the estate equally as specified in her twenty-year-old will.

One month before her birthday, Thelma had a severe stroke and ended up in a nursing home. One of her daughters, Sally, was a stay-at-home mom and lived close by, so she took on the job of managing her mother's finances. After five months, Thelma's mental capacity was less than 40%, with no improvement expected.

At $170 per day, the nursing home expenses were mounting up, and Sally was under pressure to pay them. Plus she had to worry about ongoing bills to maintain her mother's house. However, Sally could not access her mother's accounts. Desperate, she went to court seeking legal guardianship over her mother. But her siblings protested. They claimed that Sally was out to gain control of the money for her own use. Disgusted, Sally dropped the petition. The court declared Thelma incompetent and assigned a guardian to handle her affairs.

Thelma hung on for two years until she died. By that time, much of her hard-earned dollars had gone to attorneys and her guardian. And Medicaid had to pay her last six months' worth of nursing-home bills. Furthermore, her children were irrevocably divided over the guardianship issue. This is no doubt the opposite of what Thelma wanted for her family.

Avoid Estate Depletion 

Here's what you can do to avoid putting yourself or your loved ones in the same position as Sally. A durable power of attorney lets you arrange for someone you choose, called your "attorney-in-fact", to manage your finances.

A Power of Attorney can be effective immediately or have a springing power, applying only when a certain event takes place, such as incapacitation from an injury or illness. You can specify how the event is defined, for example, by the declaration of a doctor or even two that you are unable to make financial decisions.

With a power of attorney, you can insist on the amount of control your attorney-in-fact will have over your finances. This authority could include:

Making gifts
managing a business
paying household bills
buying and selling assets
handling retirement accounts
collecting government benefits
completing income tax returns

You choose who takes on this job. It could be a family member, close friend or your attorney or accountant. But make sure that it is someone trustworthy and competent with managing their own finances. Be sure also to select an alternate just in case the first person pre-deceases you or is unable to handle the responsibilities.

Avoid Family Breakup 

There are two more documents that can prevent confusion and mistrust between family members.

A medical power of attorney - also called a health-care proxy, medical directive or durable power of attorney for health care - gives whomever you select the legal authority to make medical decisions for you when you can no longer make them yourself.

A living will offers exact instructions for your doctors and family regarding the continuation of your life by artificial means or heroic measures. In cases where there is little certainty of the desires of a person in a vegetative state, a medical power of attorney and living will can help eliminate grief and dispute between family members.

Although living wills are used throughout the country, there are no universal forms spanning all states. And the law on honoring an advance directive between states is unclear. Some states will respect the different laws of the state where the document was drafted. Others might not. In addition, the documents' titles from state to state (or country to country) might differ. Problems with advance directives can pop up when you had your living will drafted in your home state (or country) and the state you are in:

makes you use their statutory forms specifies which types of advance directives they will honor require certain conditions are met before your instructions are followed will not recognize documents that do not include person's signature who is to make the medical decisions for you

If you spend a great deal of time in a state other than your home state, you may wish to consider having your advance directive meet the laws of both states as much as possible.

George D. Lambert

 

Read This Column Before You Die

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The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time. - Mark Twain

It can be both comforting and horrifying to think that our time on earth is a nano-blink of an eye, a sliver of time that passes slowly when tax forms are being prepared and quickly when the sun is shining.

Death is something we all try not to think about, yet it is our ultimate goal, the ending of every book, if life were an autobiography. We mostly shrug it off because, after all, we can’t avoid it.

But we can make the most of the inevitable. How? By planning ahead, not only for the sake of our families, but for ourselves. We’ve written before about the importance of making financial goals, but life goals are also essential. And, as with financial goals, you can’t meet them if you don’t have them.

The ultimate plan

Whether you’re getting on in age, have a terminal illness or are young and healthy, no one knows what will happen tomorrow, so prepare today. But what should your ultimate plan entail?

Make a "bucket list." The co-author of the book, "100 Things to Do Before You Die," died in an accident when he was 47. According to his writing partner, he had completed about half of his "to do" list when he died. Because he had a list and was determined to achieve his goals, he did many things he never would have done otherwise.

However, his co-author also noted that he traveled alone, so he could move through his list quicker. Sadly, the author missed an important point - it really isn’t about the list. Your list should be a guide to living life to the fullest. If you’re going through a list just to cross something off, why bother?

Whether you’re planning to go skydiving and want to visit the seven wonders of the world, like Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman did in "The Bucket List," or you have more modest goals, like learning a foreign language or cooking a gourmet meal, keep in mind that it’s important to savor the moment - and shouldn’t you be savoring the moment with a loved one or friend?

When you make out your bucket list, be certain that everything on it is something you can accomplish. Although you never know until you try, dating Angelina Jolie or winning an Olympic gold medal are about as realistic for most of us as winning the lottery. While it is important to believe in yourself, you need to know your limitations.

It’s also important to give your list some thought. Many of us don’t really know what we want. Sitting and planning out your life - and beyond - is not something you should do one day during your lunch break. Take your time and really think about what you want to do. Then develop a plan for achieving everything on your list.

Update your financial goals. Ideally, you could plan for retirement first and then plan for the next phase when you’re retired. But, since no one knows when the next phase will begin, you need to plan for it now.

What do you want to happen after you’re gone? Is there a charity you would like to help? Do you want to fund your grandchildren’s college education? Think beyond your retirement and write out your goals.

Plan your estate

Estate planning is not just for the very wealthy. It’s true that current law allows an exemption of assets worth up to $5 million from federal estate taxes, but in Massachusetts any estate with a value greater than $1 million is subject to estate taxes.

If you reside in Massachusetts and your estate exceeds $1 million in value, including the value of your home, your investment portfolio, your life insurance benefits and other assets, it will be subject to state taxation at a rate of up to 16 percent.

However, because Massachusetts has no gift tax, gifts can be made during your lifetime to reduce your taxable estate. It’s been said that death and taxes are the only certainties, but with careful planning, sometimes one of the two can be avoided.

Of course, there’s more to estate planning that reducing taxes. It’s also important to have a will, which determines how your property will be divided after your death. Without this essential legal document, your property may not be divided according to your intentions. Most likely, it will also become tied up in Probate Court and it may take years before your survivors have access to your assets.

Make certain you seek the assistance of an attorney with experience making out wills. Having a will that is not legally valid can be worse than having no will at all because it may be disputed. Also, be certain to update your will periodically.

Keep in mind that retirement accounts and life insurance policies are not covered by your will, as you designate beneficiaries when you sign a contract for these assets. Make certain that you have designated individuals you truly want to be your beneficiaries and you have not unintentionally excluded anyone, such as a child born after you initially designated your beneficiaries. Plan your legacy assets. Most people consider their financial assets in planning their estate. You also have accumulated many other assets during your lifetime. Some of the best assets are the memories of special events or family gatherings. Many of these are recorded photographically and able to be passed on to heirs.

However, the asset value of the wisdom garnered, the valuable experiences received, the life lessons learned, the appreciation of others that have helped you along the way are all assets available for sharing.

Similar to a will that administers your financial assets, you can prepare a separate letter, memoranda or formal ethical will to pass on to your family and others.

Get organized

Your death will likely be difficult on your family. You can ease the burden by planning your funeral and letting your wishes be known. Do you have a cemetery plot? Have you picked out a casket? Is there a charity to which you would like contributions sent?

If you take care of every detail, your children and your spouse won’t have to. Clean out your attic and your closet and get rid of unwanted items. Give away anything you won’t use. Go through your photos and organize them. Determine if you need to change their medium to an electronic format.

People often tell me that they do not want to be a burden to their children. It can be painful for your family to have to deal with these issues; dealing with them yourself will make it easier on them.

Also, be certain to choose an executor for your will. Talk to your executor and make certain that he or she has a true understanding of your wishes and will carry them out to the last detail. Many times writing a letter of instruction to your executor or trustee is helpful for those matters not easily handled by the formal document.

You may not care what happens after you die, but keep in mind that your decisions today will have an eternal impact and could affect how you are remembered.

Seek balance

Death and taxes may be inevitable, but the more time you spend preparing for either, the better the outcome is likely to be. If you were to die tomorrow, that would be tragic. The tragedy would be compounded, though, if your family had to deal with matters without knowing your wishes. Regardless, in the process of planning for the future, don’t forget to live for today. Carrying out your bucket list is more important - and more fun - than preparing it.

Ask yourself what you are doing today that you would change. Is your career fulfilling? Do you have a secret ambition, like writing a book or taking a special trip? Act on your passions and interests today, before it is too late. Plan for the future, but enjoy life today. Carpe diem!

Darrell J. Canby

Planning Matters: Even estates of rich and famous crash and burn

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If you are like most people, you have done no estate planning. If that is the case, you are in good (bad) company.

You would think lawyers -- trained legal professionals -- would have completed their own estate plan. Alas, lawyers are no different than anybody else and often fail to plan. One of the most famous and respected lawyers of all time, Abraham Lincoln, died without a will. I also have known a number of attorneys who died without even having the simplest of wills.

More often problems arise when lawyers, who are not estate planning specialists, attempt to do their own estate plans. These lawyers often believe they are qualified to prepare estate plans for themselves and their clients. I regularly review wills and trusts, powers of attorney and other estate planning documents that are drafted by lawyers who are not estate planning specialists.

These plans usually have unintended results.

There are health care powers of attorney that do not to have living will provisions, mental health care powers, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act access and releases or signed patient advocate acceptances.

It is not uncommon for trusts to have faulty tax provisions. I have seen wills, which are death instruments; contain health care powers, which can only be used during a lifetime.

I often see financial powers of attorney that do not allow for the gifting of assets to the family instead of spending it all down on nursing home care. Unfortunately, many times I only see the estate planning documents after the maker's incapacity or death when there is little that can be done to remedy the situation.

What do Pablo Picasso, Howard Hughes and Sonny Bono all have in common? None of them had a will.

Often the rich and famous do no planning or poor planning. However, with estates whose amounts end in lots of zeros, the unintended consequences have much more of a financial impact.

The rich and famous make the same mistakes as everybody else, only worse. The failure to plan or failure to plan properly has resulted in many their estates to be eaten up administration expenses, taxes and litigation costs.

One of the more well-known estates that had unintended results is the estate of Elvis Presley, the King of Rock 'n' Roll. Considering his stature in the entertainment world, Elvis left a relatively modest $10.2 million estate.

However, the settlement costs of his estate totaled nearly $7.4 million leaving only about $2.8 million to his heirs. About 73% of his estate was eaten up by the settlement costs.

The super-rich also are not immune from doing poor planning. Conrad Hilton of the Hilton Hotel chain left an estate of nearly $200 million. More than half of that was consumed in settlement costs.

Author and filmmaker Michael Crichton, best known as the author of "Jurassic Park" and creator of the TV series "ER," died unexpectedly when his wife was pregnant. He had not provided for his unborn child in his estate plan. This resulted in substantial legal fees for his widow in her quest to obtain a share of his estate for their child.

Andy Warhol on the other hand, did proper estate planning. This resulted in only a fraction of his estate being eaten up in settlement costs. Although his estate settlement costs were nearly as much as Elvis' at a reported $6.9 million, because his estate was nearly $300 million, only 2.3% of his estate was consumed by the settlement costs.

Because it looks like many celebrities' estate settlement costs have left their legacy as "not so rich and famous," don't take your cue from them.

Do proper planning with a legal specialist in estate planning. You wouldn't go to an oncologist to treat your diabetes any more than you should have a divorce or criminal lawyer prepare your estate plan.

The estate planning professional who prepares your estate plan should have a working knowledge of not only estate planning, but also federal and state tax laws and elder law. Without a working knowledge of all three of these areas, your estate plan could be missing some critical elements. So go forth and do proper estate planning today.

Matthew M. Wallace