Working with Allied Professionals
We, at Butcher Elder Law, consider it is of utmost importance to work with well-qualified allied professionals who share our values in accomplishing the goals of our clients. We define allied professional as those who participate in clients’ lives in a way that impacts their estate plan. Those who meet this definition include accountants, bankers, financial advisors, insurance advisors, geriatric care managers, and healthcare providers, among others. We consider coordinating our work with these professionals so important that we encourage our clients to waive client confidentiality to allow us to share all information we receive with the allied professionals with whom our clients choose to work. Anything less would endanger or diminish the success of any estate plan established. We also recognize that often allied professionals have a well- established relationship with clients and can help us get “up to speed” more quickly. Our estate planning process ensures that there has been a proper identification of all clients’ assets, and that the personal and financial goals or our clients are fully integrated. The share of information among the allied professionals for input and solution helps us achieve that ultimate goal. We understand that working together is in the best interests of the client. We consider doing so to be essential.
Our relationship with allied professionals is based on three fundamental pillars:
- Client First. It is absolutely essential that we always do what is best for our clients, not for our own personal immediate needs.
- Educate to Motivate. Many marketing strategies encourage scaring clients into acting. We believe a properly educated client will act. They will do it out of knowledge and empowerment, rather than fear, which will enhance the client relationship.
- Third-Party Credibility. It is likewise essential in all of our relationships with allied professionals that we support each other. This is essential for the client. If ever you feel that we are not meeting the client’s objective properly, or we’re concerned that you may not be doing so, we must be able to discuss any issue privately, and in a professional manner, and come to a conclusion prior to subjecting the client to our difference of opinion.
We enjoy working with allied professionals. We have found in many circumstances that the combination of our legal strategies with the financial, tax and/or other strategic options available often create a greater result than either professional can achieve on their own. We look forward to working with you to help your clients and ours accomplish their personal and financial objectives.
In the old days the general practitioner was able to handle the many needs of his or her clients. Today it’s not possible. As a law firm that focuses exclusively on estate planning, elder law issues, and special needs, we work tirelessly to keep up with the many laws and exceptions relative to this area of law. It is impossible for general practitioners or those who practice in other specific areas of the law to have a comprehensive, competent knowledge base to serve clients. We enjoy working with general practitioners and those attorneys that practice in specific areas other than estate planning. We have a simple process to help you identify when our help will be needed or if we can guide you to assist a client directly. We really appreciate our relationship with lawyers as we serve as a model law firm for several hundred law firms across the country and understand the inner working and demands on lawyers in today’s economy. Contact Butcher Elder Law to identify how we can support you and your clients and help make you part of the client’s solution.
Bankers share a special relationship with their clients. We, at Butcher Elder Law, enjoy working with bankers to help take that relationship to a whole new level. We can help you with your clients. We can help you develop deeper relationships with your clients and extend those to other family members just by utilizing our process. Often, our systems and processes also support you and minimize the amount of work you have in relations with your clients.
We share a special relationship with certified public accountants (CPAs). While our associate attorney, Erin C. Eurenius, is a CPA and an attorney, Butcher Elder Law does not prepare any tax returns or provide income tax planning. We value our relationships with CPAs and work with them according to the needs of our clients. We help identify the strategic tax issues from the estate planning, income tax, estate tax, gift tax, and generation skipping tax areas.
CPAs play a critical role in working with our clients to help guide them in making the proper long-term tax decisions. We especially enjoy updating CPA relationships on the unique tax treatment of irrevocable pure grantor trusts. These unique trusts, although irrevocable, are tax neutral, and provide great benefits for business owners and those wanting to protect their assets from predators and nursing homes without giving up control. We look forward to working with you to assist our clients with their tax needs
The fundamental benefit of working with us is our bedrock belief of your importance to the estate planning process. To create a successful estate plan, it is essential to ensure all clients’ assets are lined up with the legal documents they create. Having to utilize multiple financial professionals is counter-productive for the client and often leads to failed plans. We highly recommend our clients consolidate their financial assets with one (no more than two) financial professional whom they trust. We believe while all eggs should not be in one basket, all baskets should be in one hen house. Having multiple advisors often leads to financial strategies that can actually conflict with each other. Further, the financial strategies chosen must be consistent with the legal strategies we help the client implement to ensure the clients’ goals are achieved. It is absolutely essential that financial professionals communicate with our office and us with them, when dealing with clients to ensure the long-term goals of our mutual client, as provided for in the legal documents we created, actually do what the client thought they were going to do. We welcome new relationships and always encourage the growth of established relationships. Contact us to schedule a synergy or strategy meeting to discover how we can work together to better serve clients.
Many of our elder law clients seek our help in facing the challenges that come with growing older. These challenges often include a decline in health. Since we endeavor to take a holistic approach to serving our clients, failing to address their healthcare needs is not an option. While Attorney Sam Butcher has a degree in pharmacy, which gives him a unique perspective and understanding of the healthcare problems of many of our firm’s clients, we also recognize that we are not otherwise trained as medical professionals nor actively engaged as medical care providers. Therefore, we consider working with healthcare professionals imperative to creating order out of what is sometimes chaos, and bringing peace of mind to client families. We work very closely with Geriatric Care Managers who can help to create a “game plan” for meeting the healthcare needs of seniors experiencing a decline in health. When remaining at home is no longer practical and an option, these Aging Life Care Specialists can help client families make the right choice of a long-term-care facility (LTCF) to maximize the client’s independence while providing adequate supervision and care. We work with physicians, nurses, LTCF administrators, home health care companies, and others to coordinate and integrate the care required by the client with the strategies we employ to help them qualify for any benefits to which they may be entitled to pay for that care, protect what the law allows, and transition what they can protect to those to whom they wish to leave a legacy.
Butcher Elder Law is available to schedule joint workshops with allied professionals on the following topics:
- “The 7 Threats to Every Estate Plan”
- “Estate Planning Essentials”
- “How to Protect Your ‘Stuff’ in 3 Easy Steps”
- “How to Pay for Care at Home or at a Nursing Home Without Losing a Lifetime of Assets”
- “How to Protect Your Assets from Lawsuits, Government, Nursing Homes and Other Predators”
- “Wills, Healthcare Proxies, Powers of Attorney – What Do I Need to Know?”
- “Bubbles and Boxes – How to Protect Your Business”
Contact us for more information or to schedule a private workshop for your organization or group.