New E&T planning model – harmful to your wealth?

Home Estate Planning New E&T planning model – harmful to your wealth?

  • jfoxcpacfp jfoxcpacfp 
    Status: Financial Advisor, Accountant, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 8153
    Joined: 01/09/2016

    Just saw this message posted on the NAPFA forum. Planners with clients in other parts of the country use this and the FPA forum to seek qualified referrals to E&T planners who are local to our clients and who have been vetted by planners there.

    “Please beware there is a move underfoot to charge clients according to their net worth rather than the attorney’s time and expenses.

    My client went to a seminar about Estate Planning and came back totally sold. The presenter was the senior partner and is an excellent speaker. He was able to make everyone trust him completely after one seminar. [Law Elder Law].

    The result is that she paid $15,000 for testamentary trust. My other attorney charges $1200 for the same documents.”

    While I always ask (beg) clients to come to me before signing anything or agreeing to work with another professional, I am sure there are many DIY-ers in the forum who need to be aware of and on the lookout for this. Even more so, your parents and other loved ones who might not be so plugged into finances.

    I am not saying this model is totally evil, and that there may not be instances in which it could be practical. However, in this case, the client was obviously preyed upon. I know money can be a touchy subject between parents and children, but please consider broaching the topic of estate planning if you think there may be a need.

    Johanna Fox Turner, CPA, CFP, Fox Wealth Mgmt & Fox CPAs ~ ~ [email protected]

    #137940 Reply
    Hank Hank 
    Status: Attorney
    Posts: 1411
    Joined: 03/27/2017

    Yikes!  Unlike financial advisers, attorneys are supposed to hold a fiduciary duty their clients. Not sometimes or by exception, but as a condition of the attorney-client relationship.

    It’ll really interesting to see how this shakes out over the next few years with guardians, conservators, and heirs suing over these arguably excessive and even unconscionable fees.

    #138045 Reply

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