When a loved one passes away, it is a great comfort to know your family’s affairs are in the hands of the trusted counselors at Strazzeri Mancini LLP. In that sad event, the Fiduciary (a Trustee or Personal Representative), usually a family member, contacts us for assistance with the administration of the estate.
The Initial Contact is often a telephone call during which our team gains a basic understanding of the unique issues and concerns and sets a Gathering the Estate appointment to discuss the matter in greater detail. The appointment will be confirmed with a Care to Know™ Planning Kit confirming the appointment and requesting additional information.
Gathering the Estate
We hold a preliminary meeting to gather all the pertinent information about the deceased person, the important estate documents, and financial data.
We then discuss the preliminary information and explain the process ahead.
Before going further, our team reviews the documents provided, estate documents, related legal documents, and financial documents. The number and nature of these documents and the financial status of the deceased person’s estate determine the complexity of the settlement, and whether our specialized services are needed.
Once we have performed our review, we meet with you to discuss the legal documents and asset structure of the estate. We provide a detailed overview of the estate settlement process. Through in-depth conversation we come to understand the family dynamics, needs, and desires.
Based on what we learn in these conversations, we outline our recommendations, including all fees, deadlines, and responsibilities. We outline the tasks that lie ahead so that each step and the approximate time line is understood.
Together, we transform complex financial and emotional considerations into a workable and understandable plan.
Initial Visit – Continued
Upon engagement, the Fiduciary officially becomes our client and we discuss, clarify and agree on the process to come.
Creating Fiduciary Authority
We prepare and explain the documents the Fiduciary will need to acquire the legal authority to act on behalf of the estate. After signing these documents and with this authority, the Fiduciary is empowered to send the required notices to beneficiaries, family members, financial institutions, County Recorder’ Offices, and other governmental agencies. At this meeting the Fiduciary will be provided with the “Fiduciary Estate Settlement Binder.” This Binder contains an agenda for the meetings & process, resources for the Fiduciary, and serves as a repository for documents and communications.
The Case Analysis
Where appropriate, we meet with other professional collaborative advisors (e.g., accountant, financial advisor, etc.), to create a plan for the allocation, distribution, or division of the assets. The plan must balance the dictates of the estate’s documentation, and the Fiduciary’s objectives, any tax advantages, and the family’s desires.
Presenting the Case Plan
We take the Fiduciary step-by-step through the preliminary planning design and record reactions, critiques, ideas, etc., to further tailor the plan. Along with any other collaborative team advisors we explain the tax and practical ramification of the options.
Building the Plan
Based on reactions and input from Presenting the Preliminary Plan meeting we, along with any collaborative team advisors, build a plan into a final, easy to understand form.
We review and confirm the plan with the Fiduciary who then signs documentation to begin the implementation process. We assign details of the plan to appropriate advisors for immediate action. Estate assets are retitled and distributed to beneficiaries.
We provide the Fiduciary with details showing the process of settling the estate has been successfully completed. Where necessary, exception reports are provided. Possible additional estate planning needs are reviewed. All outstanding questions are answered.