California Estate Planning Resources
For Professional Financial Advisors


The Estate Planning Team

At Tierney, Watson & Healy, we work closely with other professional advisors, including Certified Financial Planner™ Practitioners, investment advisors, financial consultants, insurance professionals, Certified Public Accountants, and tax advisors as part of the estate planning team. We believe the team approach provides our clients with the most comprehensive, realistic and effective estate plan. To that end, we strive to keep you informed and involved at all stages of the estate planning process.

The Process

Step One: The Initial Estate Planning Consultation

We offer all prospective clients a complimentary initial consultation. With the clients' permission, we encourage you to attend this initial consultation as well. If this cannot be arranged, we will seek the clients' permission to discuss their estate planning with you afterward.

During this first meeting, the attorney will spend approximately an hour with your clients. After listening to your clients' needs, plans and goals, we will generally make some estate planning recommendations. If the situation is complex, we will ask for a follow-up meeting to present a summary and specific recommendations.

After making his recommendations, we will quote a flat fee for design, drafting and implementation of the plans. Your clients then may choose to engage our firm by signing an engagement letter and making a 50 percent deposit; or they may choose to take some time to reflect before moving ahead.

Step Two: Signing the Estate Planning Documents

Should your clients choose to engage our firm at this point, a follow-up meeting to sign documents and begin implementation of the plan will be scheduled ... normally within a week to ten days. This meeting may be quite lengthy as we will thoroughly explain the planning documents to your clients, and to their family members if necessary. We also will explain the trust funding process -- whether your clients choose to engage our firm in this process, or prefer to complete the process themselves, or with your assistance.

Step Three: Follow-Up

We have an extensive follow-up system, which we believe helps build stronger client relationships. Each of our clients will receive a follow-up letter after their plan is complete, a client satisfaction survey, and a continued subscription to our estate planning newsletter. Through the newsletter we attempt to keep our clients informed of changes that could affect their planning, and to help them maintain an awareness of their estate planning goals. In this manner we hope to ensure that our clients' plans are never out-of-date with their current needs. Every two years they will receive a personal letter encouraging them to come in to review their plans and make any necessary changes.

Resources

Estate Planning Client Education

Please visit our Resource Center for access to our newsletter articles related to estate planning. We have posted a number of articles suitable for use as hand-outs to your clients. You may subscribe to our monthly Estate Planning newsletter online for FREE. Your subscription will begin with next month's issue.

Joint Marketing

We are happy to work with you to speak to your clients or prospects on estate planning issues, including basic estate planning, charitable giving strategies, generation-skipping and other advanced topics, business succession, or asset protection. Please call the office if you would like to plan a workshop.

Note: Nothing in this publication is intended or written to be used, and cannot be used by any person for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties regarding any transactions or matters addressed herein. You should always seek advice from independent tax advisors regarding the same. [See IRS Circular 230.]

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Tierney, Watson & Healy provides California probate administration, probate litigation, elder law and estate planning to clients throughout California and nationwide. Our California practice includes the entire San Francisco Bay Area, the cities of San Francisco, Alameda, Oakland, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol and Berkeley. With offices in San Francisco and Sonoma counties, we regularly represent and visit clients in San Francisco County, Alameda County, Contra Costa County, San Mateo County, Marin County and Sonoma County.

Martin J. Tierney  |  Dewey Watson  |  Brian S. Healy  |  Evelyn A. Low
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