TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Gage, Gromala & Kopf on Holistic Estate Planning

Real_property_probate_trust David Gage, John Gromala & Edward Kopf (all of BMC Associates) have published Holistic Estate Planning and Integrating Mediation in the Planning Process, 39 Real Prop., Prob. & Tr. J. 509 (2004).  Here is the abstract:

This Article discusses holistic estate planning as an alternative to traditional estate planning. Providing a brief background on the development of holistic estate planning, the authors explore the advantages of this alternative method of estate planning, which uses mediation techniques and family dynamics specialists to facilitate the pre-estate planning process. Through the use of two case studies, the authors demonstrate how involving the entire family in the estate planning process can facilitate the transition of assets between generations. Involving the entire family allows parents, children, and estate planning attorneys to create a better estate plan that will transfer not only family assets, but also family values and traditions.

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Are there potential or actual conflicts of interest involved unless each group has separate legal representation? I would hate personally having to balance the interests of all of these groups and at the same time avoiding a potential malpractice claim. The estate planner who undertakes to represent all groups may subconsciously favor the beneficiary group looking ahead to future legal business. The holistic may be less than the sum of the parts.

Posted by: Shag from Brookline | Dec 28, 2004 1:04:37 PM