In Estate Planning, There Is No “I” in Team

Estate Planning, Probate and Insurance Attorney

Charles Garman
Attorney | Vandenack Weaver 

Every fan loves the big name, well known, hero athlete.  In the case of the record 13 championship winning Green Bay Packers, this took the form of Quarterback Aaron Rodgers.  Over the course of Aaron’s lengthy and extremely distinguished career he earned four MVPs, set and broke many records and won the Superbowl.

A NFL roster allows for 53 players, 46 of which can be active on game day.  From this number the coach has to field an eleven-player offense, defense, and special teams.  The coach could arguably accomplish this with only 30 players, and historically they have, but in order to have the best chance of success, the coach will use all players, all strategies that are available.

The quarterback is surely the most visible player of the team.  However, success will elude him if he plays on his own.  The quarterback needs players to carry the ball or throw the ball to.  He needs an offensive line to keep him upright.  And the team needs players to stop the opposition when the quarterback is off the field.  The best teams in the NFL, or any sport, understand that although they might have a star player, it’s the entire team, and the strategies they use, that bring success.

Estate planning and administration can seem deceptively simple: you draft and execute documents that create entities that own assets on your behalf and upon your death distribute them – a trust, or you do the same for documents that distribute assets upon your death – a will.  You can appoint agents to act for you – powers of attorney, or you can remove somebody’s agency, the ability to make decisions, via a guardianship.  Every person can do this on their own, without a lawyer, just as every person can set their own broken bone without a medical provider or how you could pick up a ball and try to score against an NFL team.  Nonetheless, the success of your estate plan will hinge on the quality of the legal team you use and the strategies employed.

The first question asked will be what you actually seek to accomplish.  This will inform your legal team what strategies to use.  There are many different forms of trusts, there are a plethora of ways to draft a will, and there are unique strategies using business entities to aid in asset protection or tax planning.  Upon your passing, your estate plan has to be executed in a way that fulfills your wishes and complies with current law.  But even then, legal realities might have shifted and there maybe strategies that are more tax advantageous.  

When selecting your legal partner, you do not just want a firm with a star player, you want a firm that works cohesively as a team.  You do not want just one expert, you want multiple experts in different areas of estate planning to work together.  You want more than a star player; you want a coach who attracts and trains a team that can handle all aspects of your planning goals and can innovate and adjust strategies that best suit you.

The Vandenack Weaver Team prides itself on not just having the legal expertise, tempered by decades of experience, but also the ability to learn, innovate, and put together a team of lawyers and staff that is adaptable and responsive to your needs.  Whether you have a single home and an investment account, or multiple businesses and greedy relatives, or even if you have a loved child with special needs and a fear of what the future will bring, the Vandenack Weaver Team has seen it all and assisted its clients in bringing more certainty to their plan.  The attorney you initially meet with will communicate with the team to determine the best strategy, paralegals will coordinate and assemble every part of your plan, and in some scenarios, other attorneys will stand with and for you in court so that you never have to stand alone.  We will carry, throw and catch the ball for you and protect it so that your goals may become a success.