Estate Planning in Omaha, NE

Estate Planning Law Group of Blazek & Gregg – Estate and Business Planning Attorneys Serving Nebraska & Iowa

Estate Planning for FarmersBlazek and Gregg — Effective Planning Made Easy

TrustPlus Maintenance Program™

In a nutshell, we make a three-part commitment to each client. We help them create a plan based on their goals for their family and maintain it so the entire estate planning process will be completed at the true lowest cost to the family: costs like legal fees, emotional stress and taxes.

We are committed to providing our clients estate plans that WORK! To assure this, we have procedures and protocols in our firm that we ask clients to follow. Some people don't qualify to be our clients, because they don't care enough to put in the time and effort it takes to have a plan that works. We know from experience that their plan will fail if we care more about their planning than they do, and we don't want to be associated with a failing plan! The TrustPlus Maintenance Program™ is an optional, but highly recommended step in the planning process.

One recent study found that approximately 80% of all living trust estate plans are destined to fail! Why? Because of the lack of support and attention through the entire planning process. You see, for an estate plan to work, it must be successful through three distinct phases, or steps. We make uncommon commitments to provide our clients full service throughout all stages of the process, with legal fees capped to make sure you pay the true lowest cost overall for the plan. Our Life Planning Process — which in our experience is the best way to make sure your plan accomplishes your goals — works like this:

STEP 1: WORK WITH A COUNSELLING-ORIENTED ATTORNEY

It is difficult for a person to plan if they don't know what is possible, and it is difficult to know what is possible unless an experienced attorney (1) discusses in depth with you your true fears, hopes, dreams and goals, then (2) applies his or her experience to offer you the tools to deal with those fears, hopes, dreams and goals.

A counselling-oriented attorney will take the time to explore what is important to you and will give you a thorough explanation of how you can put your personal goals into your plan. Such an attorney will allow you to control what your objectives are rather than steering you toward his or her "standard form" documents by telling you "you could do [whatever you asked about], but MOST of my clients do this." Don't go there! You tell the attorney what is important for and special about you and your family, and insist that the attorney learn from you rather than steering you toward a one-size-fits-all form! Are all trusts or wills "created equal"? Certainly not if you want it to fit your unique family and your heart-felt objectives.

On the other hand, some clients go in to the attorney saying "I want a trust" or "I want a will." Do you really know what legal, technical document will best accomplish your real-life goals? That is probably what you should be asking the attorney, not telling them! Instead, explain to your attorney WHAT you want to accomplish with your plan: stay in control? avoid probate? protect assets for your children? avoid estate taxes? avoid public disclosure of assets? minimize legal costs? make sure the in-laws-turned-outlaws can't touch it? fund grandchildren's education? avoid capital gain taxes? protect assets from the nursing home? Only when the attorney knows your ultimate objectives and priorities can he or she design a plan to achieve them. And that list was only a brief start! The instructions you decide to leave in your estate plan may be very comprehensive and very personal. (For more on this, visit our Big Picture page.)

Ultimately your Tender Loving Care for your family should provide the foundation for your plan. A counselling-oriented attorney will help you sort and prioritize your objectives, then help you build your estate plan on that foundation of TLC.

STEP 2: PARTICIPATE IN A SYSTEMATIC, FORMAL, ESTATE PLAN UPDATING PROCESS

Maintain the plan as your life and the law changes.

Initially all assets you own must be lined up with the beautiful, personal instructions you created in Step 1. This is sometimes referred to as "funding" your estate plan. Then we make a commitment to our clients to assist them as their assets change, as their family changes, and as their goals or objectives change.

We also provide clients the assurance that their plan will not become outdated as laws change. Each year there are typically dozens, even hundreds of changes in the law, many of which have an impact on existing estate plans. We assume the responsibility of updating our clients' plans as these changes occur, so the plans will work when a disability or death occurs.

Finally, in order to prepare the family for their duties when the disability or death occurs, we also provide ongoing education for clients and their families (see "Event Calendar"). This "training" is an essential link between creating a great plan in Step 1 and carrying it out at a low cost to the family on death, Step 3.

STEP 3: ASSURE FULLY DISCLOSED & CONTROLLED SETTLEMENT COSTS

Most people want to see that their plan will be administered upon death at the very lowest cost to their family. When it comes time to file the estate tax return and to divide and distribute the assets for your heirs, we are available and have pre-disclosed and capped our fees. Our firm is one of only a handful in the country that provides written disclosures and assurances that a client's estate plan will not only stay in compliance with the law, but also will be administered at the lowest possible cost upon death. We put these commitments in writing, so no client has reason to worry or wonder.

It only makes sense:

  • if you spend serious, thoughtful time designing a plan,
  • if your attorney spends that time with you developing and creating it, then
  • if you stay in touch with the law firm over the years, and through that time
  • the firm gets to know you and your family, and
  • the professionals have an annually-updated list of your assets so they don’t have to go through the morbid scavenger hunt at death, and
  • your family has been educated on estate administration so they know what to do, and
  • your legal documents have been updated regularly so they are at the cutting edge of the law

… then of course it will be an efficient, tidy and streamlined process of administration on death!

Most people want to avoid probate and avoid taxes because of one overriding goal: to reduce all costs - money the family will lose to outsiders - and maximize the net property being delivered to their heirs. They want their plan to get their property to their children or other loved ones with the lowest overall "cost" in professional fees and taxes.

A different way to plan your estate. A way that WORKS!