Interdisciplinary Network Service Protocol

The Interdisciplinary Network Service Protocol (INSP) is a multi-disciplinary estate planning service system that integrates the knowledge, experience and abilities of certain financial and legal professionals for client utilization upon a secure Internet platform.  The effect of bundling practical estate planning services of participating professionals within a virtual network enables end-user clients to (a) acquire professional estate planning products and services in a safe, controlled, and efficient environment, (b) obtain full implementation and [ongoing] administrative support services, and thus (c) ensure the final realization of their estate planning objectives.  The INSP is not a statutory partnership, or a formal triumvirate, or any other contractual arrangement as it is effectively non-binding between the participants.  All participants work independently of each other, and each may discontinue his/her service to the INSP at any time without cause.  The main parties of the INSP and their primary roles as service providers are described as follows:

  1. Associate Advisor (AA) – (i) presents basic estate/tax planning information and common planning options to his client(s); (ii) guides his client through the initial data gathering and plan-organizing activities; and, (iii) assists his client, as needed, with the final implementation and funding processes of her estate plan – under the direct supervision of client’s legal counsel [INSP Networking Attorney].  If the AA opts to "bundle" his fees in the processing transaction for his (i) data gathering, (ii) implementation and (iii) funding services, he must inform the client that he is receiving compensation directly from the transaction (not to exceed $600).  In such case, the AA's bundled fee is posted and disclosed on the Client Management Services (CMS) line item located on the Client Data Questionnaire (CDQ) Order Form page.

  2. Networking Attorney (NA) – (i) offers and performs independent, personal legal counsel services for AA’s client(s) by (ii) providing initial and conclusive estate plan feasibility/suitability opinions as to the efficacy of the proposed plans per the client’s estate planning objectives and statutory law, and (iii) supervises, or actively performs, the final editing/drafting and delivery of the client’s legal documents through usage of the INSP Online Document Repository (ODR).  The NA will be directly compensated by the client from a legal-fee component of the transaction fee.

  3. ITS Alliance Partners LLC (ITS) – (i) provides training and field support services to the AAs and to the NAs [as needed], (ii) offers product research/development and autotext macro design with specimen documents for use by the NAs through the ODR, and (iii) publishes ODR back-office document prep and assembly services on behalf of the NAs for each respective client.  The pre-selection and initial drafting of the clients’ estate planning documents is performed by ITS-staffed licensed attorneys operating on the INSP platform through the ITS Admin Console.  ITS Processing offices monitor all INSP activity (through the Admin Console) including data/message exchanges and time-frame usage to ensure confidentiality, protocol compliance, transactional efficiency, and full implementation of all INSP services.

Participant Confirmations –

IT IS ESTABLISHED that the Associate Advisor (AA) is an ITS-licensed (front-end) user of the INSP currently in the business of offering (independent) financial management services and/or who sells financial products.  Relative to the INSP, the AA’s business activities include identifying the potential need for estate planning in relation to his clients’ financial/estate planning goals and objectives.  The AA’s activities are more specifically defined as helping his client (i) integrate optimal, administrative planning structures for the family plan [such as wills, trusts, asset retitlements, etc.], (ii) implement effective income and transfer tax planning methods, and (iii) secure efficient and cost-effective ways of transferring and/or controlling family assets after the client’s decease.

IT IS ESTABLISHED that the Networking Attorney (NA) – as registered on the INSP Legal Network Registry – is a licensed attorney-at-law in his/her state of domicile, a member in good standing with that State Bar Association, and competent in estate planning law and implementation methods.  From that position, the NA is deemed (i) qualified to provide jurisdictional citizens with competent estate planning advice, (ii) able to offer appropriate independent legal counsel to AAs’ clients in meeting their respective estate planning needs, and (iii) capable of making determinations as to the suitability of certain INSP (or non-INSP) estate planning documents and formats for use by end-user INSP clients.

IT IS ESTABLISHED that ITS Alliance Partners LLC (ITS) is in the business of providing estate planning consultation services and back-office support to certain financial and legal institutions.  ITS is also the owner, operator and maintenance provider of the INSP Internet database.  In functioning as the INSP operator, ITS maintains and provides proprietary electronic data-gathering systems, administrative monitoring, and incremental back-office drafting support (via licensed ITS staff attorneys), and document-assembly / collation services on behalf of NAs.

INSP Procedural Activity Outline –

The following Procedural Activity Outline defines a 10-step protocol for the INSP service providers in helping end-user clients meet their estate planning goals and objectives:

  1. Step 1 –  AA’s contact with client.  The AA and his client discuss potential estate planning options and consider that the client’s estate-planning goals and objectives may be most effectively achieved through a multi-faceted effort that includes the networking activity of three separate service providers (AA, NA, and ITS) on the INSP on behalf of the AA’s client.  In the initial client discussion(s), the AA describes the activities and flow of the INSP including the (i) utilization of client-selected, independent licensed legal counsel on the INSP Legal Network Registry to determine the applicability and suitability of any proposed estate plan and (ii) the professional support services of the AA [within the scope of AA’s profession and training] from inception to implementation, including providing assistance in funding the client’s (proposed) estate plan under the direct supervision of the client’s legal counsel (the NA).  The AA shall also inform his client of the distinct roles and parameters of each service provider of the INSP.

  2. Step 2 –  Initial data gathering.  If, after the initial discussion/interview with the AA, the client determines that she would like to use the network services of the INSP in conjunction with her financial advisor (the AA), the AA will begin the data organization/collection process with the client to gather general information relative to a prospective estate plan; all related questions and recommendations, if any, are subject to client’s independent legal counsel (the NA) for final approval and implementation.

  3. Step 3 –  Electronic data submission.  The AA shall then enter basic client data, with a minimum of client’s name, address, phone number, email address, proposed estate plan format, and any other information that may be applicable (such as the names of the client’s children, etc), onto the Client Data Questionnaire (CDQ) and submit the same to the network server through his Associate Console.  Upon receipt of the CDQ data, the database server shall automatically transmit responder “e-Mail Notices” to ITS Admin Offices and to the client’s personal NA confirming the CDQ submission.

    1. (a)  With the AA’s initial submission of the CDQ, the client’s account shall be debited for the proposed Total (Transaction) Fee amount as shown on the Client Order Form page of the CDQ, which includes the processing/support work provided by ITS and the NA’s legal fee.  The proposed Total (Transaction) Fee is effectively held “in escrow” as a refundable transaction until the NA’s (i) interview with client, (ii) approval of the proposed plan, and (iii) (re)submission of the CDQ.  The effective Total (Transaction) Fee is that fee which appears on the CDQ after the NA’s “engagement interview” with the client and subsequent completion/submission of the CDQ entries.

    2. (b)  Upon the AA’s submission of the client CDQ, ITS Client Management Service (CMS) office personnel will perform a secondary interview with the client, as may be necessary (upon request by the AA), to help gather relevant estate planning information for proper data entry and application usage with the CDQ.  The CMS office interview will also help facilitate the entire process including working directly with the client’s own legal counsel, the selected NA.

  4. Step 4 –  NA’s acceptance or declination.  After receiving an e-Mail Notice of the AA’s submission of the client’s CDQ, the NA shall access his Attorney Console on the INSP and review the client’s CDQ to determine if he wants to accept (or not) the offer to serve as independent legal counsel for the client.  The NA shall contact AA’s client within seventy-two (72) business hours from the time when the CDQ was posted.

    1. (a)  Failure by the NA to make contact with the client within the 72-hour time-frame may be deemed by ITS Admin as the NA’s default “declination” of the client’s request to serve as independent legal counsel for her.

    2. (b)  The NA may also actively decline the offer to serve as that client’s independent legal counsel because of, but not limited to, the NA’s perception that no appropriate estate plan format is available to the AA’s client through the INSP.  If the NA actively declines the offer to serve as client’s legal counsel, then he must submit a Notice of Transaction Declination on that client’s CDQ NotePad message ledger, which will serve as an electronic email message to the INSP notifying all parties that the NA has declined the offer to serve as that client’s independent legal counsel.

    3. (c)  In the event that the NA declines to serve as legal counsel for the AA’s client, ITS Admin office shall contact the AA (or the client, if necessary) to determine if the client wants to contact another NA to provide alternate legal counsel or discontinue the INSP estate planning application process.

  5. Step 5 –  NA’s engagement with client.  After the NA’s review and acceptance of the transactional activity in serving as legal counsel to client, the NA shall make direct contact with the client by telephone (or in person) to conduct a confidential client interview.  From the initial contact, NA shall establish the attorney/client relationship and determine the applicability and suitability, or not, of an estate plan for the client.

    1. (a)  If, after the initial client interview, the NA makes a determination that the client does not need the proposed estate plan, or any other estate planning format offered through the INSP, then the NA shall submit a Notice of Process Termination on that client’s CDQ NotePad message ledger.  The NA’s termination notice will serve as an electronic email message to the INSP parties stating that he has determined that the client’s estate planning needs cannot be properly served by any estate planning format and/or service offered through the INSP.

    2. (b)  If the NA submits a termination notice then the NA may, in his own discretion, invoice the client separately for the legal counsel that he provided to the client notwithstanding that no estate plan format or planning service was provided to the client through the INSP.

    3. (c)  If the NA determines that the client needs an estate planning format, or some other documentation, not available through the INSP then the NA may provide the client with estate planning documents not offered through the INSP.  In such case, the NA shall (i) notify ITS [and the AA] of the separate transaction by sending that message through the client CDQ NotePad ledger and (ii) thus authorize ITS to debit the NA’s account for a “platform/database user fee” in the amount of Two Hundred & Fifty Dollars ($250).  In such case, ITS Processing shall refund any “proposed” Transaction Fees that may have been processed from the client’s account.

  6. Step 6 –  NA’s approval / final transaction fee processing.  If, after the client interview, the NA determines that a particular INSP estate plan format is applicable and suitable for the client then the NA shall enter appropriate (finalized) data on the CDQ, as necessary, and (re)submit the CDQ to the INSP database – thereby implementing the “effective and final” Total (Transaction) Fee assessed to the client.  A responder e-Mail Notice is then sent to all parties verifying the NA’s suitability determination of the proposed estate plan format relative to the client data on the CDQ – as (re)submitted by the NA.

    1. (a)  If, after (re)submitting the CDQ, the NA determines that the proposed plan requires additional stipulations to meet the client’s estate planning goals then NA will make appropriate recommendations by data entries on the CDQ NotePad Ledger regarding the proper plan format revisions and/or the inclusion of other stipulating provisions.  In such case, ITS Processing shall debit (or credit) client’s account accordingly, as may be necessary.

    2. (b)  The NA’s (re)submission of the CDQ shall serve as a notice to all parties that the proposed estate plan format, as listed on the CDQ, is appropriate, suitable and approved for the client; in such case, the personal client data on the client’s CDQ shall then be utilized by ITS Admin to generate the client’s proposed estate plan on behalf of the NA.

    3. (c)  Although the NA can no longer add data or edit the approved CDQ after submitting the same to the database for processing, the NA may submit Archived Change Requests (ACR) to the CDQ to accomplish the same.  Any such ACR entries are to be submitted by the NA using the same CDQ NotePad ledger in that client’s CDQ file and shall be used, correspondingly, in creating the client’s estate plan.

    4. (d)  If the effective/final Total (Transaction) Fee is different than the proposed Total (Transaction) Fee, then ITS shall credit or debit client’s account accordingly.  Notwithstanding, ITS retains the right to require (additional) fees for processing work that was not previously required by the effective Total (Transaction) Fee – such as preparing extra Realty Deed transfer documents and the like.

  7. Step 7 –  Document generation and pre-drafting.  After the NA’s (re)submission of the client’s CDQ, ITS Processing shall assemble and prepare the client’s approved legal documents – using auto-text retrieval software for incremental draft entries and other specific provisions relative to the plan – and then electronically merge the client’s CDQ data unto the assembled documents.  The assembled trust documents (and other ancillary documents as may be requested by the NA, including retitlement letters, etc.) are then installed on the INSP server for the NA’s review and/or editing and subsequent final approval.

  8. Step 8 –  NA’s draft editing and/or approval.  After document review, the NA shall then either (i) post a final approval – by clicking the “Approval” link in the client’s CDQ file – regarding the client’s posted legal documents, or (ii) direct ITS Processing by NotePad messaging as to the change(s) required on the document(s) before final approval can be made, or (iii) download and edit the document(s) and email back to ITS Processing.

  9. Step 9 –  AA’s delivery & implementation.  Upon completion of the printing, collation, and assembly of the client’s finalized Estate Planning Portfolio, ITS will ship the Portfolio documents directly to AA.  The AA shall then deliver the documents to the client and provide all needed assistance to the client, under the direct supervision and monitoring of the NA, to assist the client with implementation and funding.

  10. Step 10 –  Confirmation of delivery and implementation.  After the delivery and implementation meeting(s), the AA shall notify the NA, preferably through the CDQ NotePad, that the entire implementation process has been completed for the client.  The NA shall contact the AA, as well as the client, by NotePad messaging or telephone for verification that all applicable procedures have been completed.