With more than 48 years of legal experience here in the Valley, the legal firms of Good, Bucy, Elson and Drescher have joined forces. With a specialty in Estate Planning and Trust administration, the firm seeks to offer detailed and smart plans that fulfill the will of their customers. In today´s interview, I speak with attorney Scott Bucy to discuss the art and science behind proper estate planning and trust administration.
Hi Scott, thanks for speaking with me today, and congratulations on taking over and continuing the Elson Drescher firm.
Thanks Shields. Since we took over the Elson Drescher firm and combined their clientele with ours, we have been very busy as you can imagine as both firms have been serving the valley for decades, each with a long-term, local client base.
Can you please elaborate on the overall services provided and the focus that Good, Bucy, Elson and Dresher will take?
Our firm will continue to provide services for all Estate Planning needs, similar to what Elson and Drescher have done since 1973, such as setting up trusts for clients, wills, durable power of attorney, advanced directives, guardianships, conservatorships, probate and general trust administration. This type of work is something that Bob and I have historically done within our own firm, but unlike Elson Drescher, we will also continue to assist clients, as we always have, with business law, family issues, mediation, conflict resolution, property law and litigation.
That sounds excellent. Congratulations once again.
Thanks Shields, we are happy to have joined up with the Elson Drescher firm. They have been very helpful with transition and continue to support us as needed. It indeed has been very busy combining both longtime local firms but things are falling into place.
Scott, in your experience of living and working in Ashland, what do you appreciate most about your clientele?
The generosity and approachable demeanor of the local people within the Ashland community. I can say without question, whether you have a lot or a little, most people in Ashland want to help one another for the greater good of the whole. Every day, whether through my work or personal life, I see the people of this great valley reaching out a hand to help others in need. It is very rewarding to watch the altruistic approach of this community and the people who live within it. Those that have a multitude of assets and those that have little all tend to give back. It makes our community so strong. The incredible act of giving by the people of this community is real, it is active, and I am thankful to be a part of it.
Scott, can you give us a brief overview of Estate Planning and Trust Administration? What exactly does this mean and why is it essential in our lives?
Preparing a will or a trust is an absolutely essential part of protecting your assets and your family’s future. With a will and/or a trust in place, you can avoid unnecessary taxes which your loved ones would have to pay otherwise after you have passed. In addition, if planned properly, you can avoid probate, which can take years and tie up inheritances’ at times for years after your death. Proper estate planning can also ensure that your children, spouse, other family members, and even friends and non-profit organizations which you desire to support will be adequately cared for after you are gone to the best of your ability. When properly drafted, a customized Estate Plan has the power to offer protection and peace of mind throughout your life and in the event of your death. Regardless of your age or family situation, a comprehensive and well-drafted Estate Plan is critical. It allows for distribution of your assets, it can name those responsible for managing your finances, and it can name those to attend to your medical needs in the event you are unable to manage these important decisions on your own in your life. Estate Planning is often associated with helping after death, but it also helps manage essentials during your life. The Trust Administration portion of our work assists your loved ones, after you are gone, to ensure they are receiving the maximum amount of benefit and are executing your final wishes according to your Estate Plan.
In your expert opinion, what are the biggest mistakes or oversights that are being made with Estate Planning and Trust Administration?
The biggest mistake I see with Estate Planning is, of no fault by the clients, but it is the general lack of understanding with regard to estate plans. I understand I am the attorney and thus the professional with the knowledge, but I also believe in educating my clients as much as possible in order to assist them with their estate plan so they can make wise decisions. Estate Planning decisions made by clients are often made by the client listening to others and the clients never gain much knowledge of their own on how it works. Estate Planning decisions are personal, very personal, so I believe clients should have knowledge to ensure they are making the right decision for them and their family. Clients know their lives and families more than any other and some professional advisors might not completely know the client’s specific family dynamic or the depth and intricacies of the client’s goals. Listening to the client and personally getting to know them is rule number one but a close runner up is educating my clients on what exactly they are signing and why. If the client understands the “whats” and “whys” of estate planning, then the clients can make their own educated decisions and I serve them in this regard. I simply help make their decisions a legal document. I recognize the education process does not happen overnight, as the law can be intimidating and dense, but simplifying difficult concepts is something I take pride in. I enjoy teaching my clients and I enjoy getting to personally know them as I am a people person to the core. Helping clients understand the legalese and how the legalese transfers to their lives, is one of my main goals in Estate Planning.
That said, what is the best advice you have to offer your clients and our readers here today?
Of course, nobody likes to think of their own demise but please take the time to set up an estate plan, whether with our firm or another, it will help you in life and it will help your family and loved ones after you are gone. Also take the time to know what you are signing and why, as it will ensure your wishes are met, if you understand how the process works.
Scott, back into the details. What creates a strong Estate Plan and Trust Administration? What are the most essential elements and how is your firm positioned to best support this process?
It all goes back to education as I have highlighted already, and relationships with your attorney and other advisors. A strong estate plan involves knowing your goals and your limits, understanding the process and the whys’ which follow the process. All of us have different goals and limits, different family dynamics, different levels of wealth and debt, and because of these differences no estate plan is exactly alike. Having a strong relationship between the client and their attorney is the best place to start for all solid estate plans. From there, proper tax planning, distributions in life and after death, and other specifics of estate planning will follow depending on each individual’s personal goals. There is no one size fits all.
What question am I forgetting to ask you?
You forgot to ask me about our firm with business and property law, haha! We concentrated this interview on estate planning I suppose and that is an excellent choice, but we also enjoy working with business owners in business planning, entity formation and pretty much any business issue which might arise as well as a general property law. But we can leave those conversations for another day and another interview I suppose.
Scott, what are the next steps for learning more and moving forward in working with your firm?
If you need help with your estate plan, business or have property law needs, please feel free to call us 541-482-3763 and set up an appointment. It is as simple as that. We would love to discuss things further with you and see if we can be of assistance.
Finally, are there any last thoughts or comments you would like to share with our readers here today?
I always appreciate your time and energy, Shields. Keep up the great work. I have many clients that come to my office and mention the article I write once a month for this publication, so I appreciate the opportunity. Best to you, your family and the entire community this holiday season! Keep offering that helping hand as it makes a world of difference in the lives of so many in need. Take care everyone!
Thank you very much for your time today.
Good, Bucy, Elson & Drescher
823 Siskiyou Boulevard, Ashland