For our Estate Planning Clients, we use Flow Charts to summarize the more important provisions that have been agreed upon at our initial, or review, meeting, and to illustrate, in a graphical (and even colorful!) format, how their Estate Planning documents will work together. In that way our Clients can determine if the various documents accurately reflect the provisions they desire. The use of Flow Charts has proven to be much more effective than simply providing Clients with a “homework assignment” of reading the lengthy documents themselves, and then trying to determine if the documents accurately represent what they wish to accomplish.
For our Trust Administration and Probate Administration Clients, we use Flow Charts at our initial “reading-of-the-Will” meeting. The Flow Chart not only lists the assets of a deceased person’s Trust and Estate, it summarizes the various Estate Planning documents that are then in effect, and illustrates, again in a graphical and colorful format, how the Trust or Estate will be administered, and what the various steps will be in completing the administration. Although we only represent the Trustee, Executor or Administrator, we also furnish these Flow Charts to the Trust and Estate beneficiaries. In that way, the beneficiaries are not required to read, comprehend and then attempt to remember the provisions of a lengthy Trust Agreement, or recall what was said at an initial meeting—instead, they can simply retain the Flow Chart and use it as a reference during the entire administration.
Here are two excerpts from our Flow Charts:
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