Glen Wagstaff, Founder and Managing Partner at Inter Vivos, PLLC, believes planning around your estates for the future is as much about values as it is about the assets themselves. Glen and his firm are on a mission to make “proper planning affordable and accessible for everyone” in a family focused environment that challenges more than just competition on price.
What would you say are the most common obstacles clients face in the US as they look to plan their estates?
Most families are unaware of what their planning needs are. It is common for a client to assume that they have very basic planning needs when in reality there are more complex or specific provisions that they should have in their plan.
Many people would assume that when one dies or becomes mentally disabled, without proper estate planning, their assets automatically pass to their next of kin or offspring. Are they wrong and why?
Most of the time, between spouses it is fairly easy to arrange for assets to pass automatically to each other, but to anyone else the law generally provides for a court directed probate process, which would be necessary for assets to be transferred to offspring or next of kin, or according to the provisions in their will. In the United States the best way to avoid this is through a properly structured and funded trust plan.
What is the difference between family estate plans and niche estate plans; which would be best for clients?
Most families may only need a family estate plan. Niche planning is used to address situation specific needs or asset specific needs, but it is important if a client has those assets or situations. For example, business owners generally need to consider business succession planning while families with special needs children, spendthrift children, or with strained relationships between individuals, should address those specific needs in their planning.
As a thought leader, how are you actively working towards the development or implementation of new estate policies?
We believe while estate planning is becoming increasingly important and needed for our aging population, our industry is becoming very polarized with large traditional law firms on one side and non-lawyer services like Legalzoom and Rocket Lawyer on the other. The legitimate experts in the industry who take a value driven approach to planning are being squeezed out of the marketplace because they find it difficult to compete in terms of price or marketing, and the public is largely unaware that there even is a difference. We want to present a better model for the industry and build out opportunities for professionals to be successful at specialty planning. We also want to make proper planning affordable and accessible for everyone, which is why we have different planning options and price points representing different planning experiences for clients to choose from. We want to help clients pass on values, not just assets, so to do that we offer a much more customized approach to the planning process. This year we are also doing our very first Legacy Retreat to Costa Rica, which allows clients to learn valuable principles about building a legacy and transferring values, while combining humanitarian service with a high-end vacation. We want to help change the way people think about planning and the planning process.
Is there anything you would like to add?
As we expand, our goal is to become the largest and most influential estate planning law firm in the world. We currently have licensed attorneys in four countries including the US and in 17 states within the US.
Inter Vivos, PLLC
100 N State St, Ste B
Lindon, UT 84042
Inter Vivos is an estate planning law firm offering customized planning solutions including Estate Planning, Tax Planning, Asset Protection Planning, Business Planning, Legacy Planning and Estate Administration. Most of our clients are middle class families needing to protect their assets and their loved ones.
We structured the firm as a cooperative virtual law firm, which is very unique in our industry. It allows our attorneys a lot of flexibility and independence while at the same time allowing us to grow into a large firm with well-known branding and to reach clients across the country and globally.