The Eckert Byrne LLC Spruce Plan
Who Is The Spruce Plan For?
Ideal Spruce Plan clients:
- Have varied assets that exceed the MA estate tax exemption amount but less than the Federal exemption amount
- Desire to protect their heirs’ inheritance from creditors and/or divorce by creating ongoing trusts
- Want loved ones, instead of doctors, to determine their incapacity/disability
- May want to include remarriage protections
- May have charitable goals
- Value privacy and seek to avoid probate & reduce estate administration costs for loved ones
How Does The Spruce Plan Help You?
Spruce Plan clients benefit by:
- For married US citizens, reducing the Massachusetts estate tax to pass the most money to their loved ones
- Providing a seamless transition of assets during periods of incapacity/disability, with detailed instructions
- Providing remarriage protections (for married couples and beneficiaries)
- Determining who will inherit their property, how, and when
- Maintaining privacy by not having their plan made public through the court process
- Reducing or eliminating the role of the Probate Court at their death, with fully organized assets
What Does The Spruce Plan Include?
The Spruce Plan includes:
- Revocable Living Trust (Separate or Joint)
- Certification of Trust
- Pour Over Will
- Health Care Proxy
- Living Will
- HIPAA Authorization
- Power of Attorney
- Notarization and Scanning of Documents
- Electronic Copies of Documents
- Personal Property Memorandum
- Location List and Binder
- Instructions for Successor Trustee
- Letter of Instructions to Health Care Agents & Trustees
- Basic Disability Trust Provisions
- Basic Funding Instructions
- Customized Disability Provisions through a Disability Panel
- Written Opinion of Incapacity and Restoration
- Detailed Asset Table
- (1) Deed, Homestead, & Trustee’s Certificate (recording fees included -additional charges for multiple deeds and out-of-state properties)
- Letters to Update Homeowners Insurance (if applicable)
- Specific Funding Recommendations for all disclosed assets on Asset Table
- Recommendations for Beneficiary Designations for Retirement Accounts
- Common (Single) Trust Provisions for Minor Children (if applicable)
- Temporary Guardian Appointment for Minor Children (if applicable)
- Letter of Instructions to the Guardians & Trustees of Minor Children (if applicable)
- Customized Ongoing Protective Trusts for Beneficiaries
- Federal & MA Estate Tax Planning for Surviving Spouse (if applicable)
- Remarriage Protections (if applicable)
- Guidance on Achieving your Philanthropic Goals (if applicable)
How The Spruce Plan Process Works
The Spruce Plan will begin with an initial design meeting. This meeting will provide a time for you to discuss and make specific decisions regarding your plan. Eckert Byrne LLC will need a completed PIF, including all asset information (bank statements, deeds, etc.), payment, and engagement letter before the initial design meeting can begin. After the design meeting, you will need to review the initial flowchart to confirm any outstanding items before the flowchart review call.
Once you’ve reviewed the flowchart on your own, you will have the opportunity to review your plan flowchart with an attorney. This conversation will take place over the phone and will provide you with a time to have any follow up questions answered. You will confirm any outstanding decisions regarding your flowchart over the call.
Before the estate plan can be drafted, the client will need to approve of the final flowchart. The plan cannot be drafted until approval is received.
The final step in the plan will be a delivery meeting. In this meeting you will review your documents with an attorney, making note of those provisions specific to your plan. You will sign the documents in the presence of two witnesses and a notary public. After the plan is completed, clients are encouraged to continue an ongoing relationship via the firm’s Legal Checkup or Annual Maintenance programs. Eckert Byrne LLC can also assist with funding your trust if needed.