Purposeful Planning Institute — Interview

The Collaborative Practice Revolution in Trusts & Estates

Audio File: Download/Play Recording (MP3)

Date:  November 25, 2014

Guest Speakers:
Peter Johnson, PWJohnson Wealth Management
Nancy Ross, BSR Counseling Services
Victoria Tran Sood, Tran Sood Law Firm


Summary:  A discussion around the benefits of the Collaborative Practice inter-disciplinary team approach, and how it can be applied to pre-mortem as well as post-mortem estate planning and settlement. The Collaborative Practice model is well-positioned to have a major impact: it’s established, widely-recognized and highly effective.

About the Purposeful Planning Institute: The Purposeful Planning Institute (“PPI”) attracts individuals and firms who believe there is a better way, a better process, a better practice lying just ahead of us and that our past experiences and knowledge are merely a prelude to our finest hours in service to our clients.  It is the most affordable and easily accessible educational and training platform for advisors to HNW and UHNW clients.  PPI offers great value through easily accessible educational content, programs, and training for financial advisors, estate planning attorneys, and other professionals and consultants serving families of wealth and families in business.

Important Points:

  • Collaborative Practice, primarily known for its application in divorce settlement, is becoming more widely used for trust and estate issues.  It’s a leading-edge movement, building on a well-established foundation.  Worldwide, there are now over 5,000 trained Collaborative Practice professionals, with over 3,000 in the U.S.  At this point, of those, about 50 individuals are now trained in Trusts & Estates.
  • The fundamental idea is to support and assist families in discovering and co-creating their own futures, using a trained, multi-disciplinary team of professionals.  The process is guided by clear protocols, and is based on trust, transparency and communication.
  • Using a Collaborative Team approach is highly effective in reducing the longer-term emotional and financial costs of conflict, especially when it leads to litigation.
  • This process can bring families together at a time when many are torn apart, engender trust and cooperation, and preserve wealth and relationships through generational transitions.

For more information on the Collaborative Practice and stay up-to-date with developments visit: www.CollaborativeEstates.com or contact jeanpetrick@sbcglobal.net. 

Purposeful Quote:  We tend to think we live our lives in the context of money; but that’s backwards. In reality, money lives within the context of our lives and relationships.

Introduction to Our Guest Speakers

Peter W. Johnson, Jr., PFP, is founder of PWJohnson Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisory firm based in Los Altos, California. His independent firm provides investment and financial planning services to clients who seek to maximize their long-term financial health. The firm’s compensation is derived solely from fees; that is, we receive no commissions on any investment or other products.

Peter has operated his current practice for over 20 years and the firm manages in excess of $50 million for individuals, families and trusts. Prior to establishing the advisory practice, Peter spent ten years in the investment industry working as an account executive at various brokerage firms and with the Benham (now American Century) group of mutual funds.

Peter received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration/Finance from the University of Santa Clara in 1979, graduating first in his class. In 1986, he earned the Personal Financial Planner designation from the University of California.

His peers have recognized Peter as a leader in the field of Financial Planning.  Peter currently serves as Co-Chair of the Trusts and Estates Committee of Collaborative Practice, Silicon Valley.  He previously served on the Ethics Board of the Financial Planning Association (FPA), a national trade group with over 29,000 members. As past President of the Silicon Valley Chapter of the FPA, Peter worked to educate others in the industry on how to efficiently and effectively manage clients, wealth, and build successful planning businesses. Peter has also been recognized through the media. His expertise in both financial planning and technology has led him to prominence as a financial industry writer and speaker. Peter has been a contributor to industry magazines such as the Journal of Financial Planning, Financial Advisory Practice and The Journal of Practical Estate Planning, has been quoted in leading consumer publications such as the Silicon Valley Business Journal and Black Enterprise, and has spoken at national, regional and local financial industry conferences and events throughout the United States.

As an outgrowth of his commitments to education and community, Peter founded The Financial Literacy Project, which makes financial education and coaching available at little or not cost to consumers through local, independent bookstores and libraries. Peter was also co-producer of one of the earliest podcasts, called Pro Money Talk, which consisted of interviews with the top names in personal finance, and generated two million downloads in over 100 countries.

Nancy J. Ross, LCSW, BCD
Nancy is a licensed clinical social worker whose interest has always been in helping couples and families realize their goals of healthier family dynamics. As a mediator, coach and psychotherapist, she works with individuals and families throughout their entire life cycle including pre-marital and marital counseling, in helping them cope more effectively with life challenges.

For over 20 years Nancy Ross, LCSW has helped individuals and groups in developing Collaborative Practice skills and principles. First as a co-developer of Collaborative Divorce concept, an interdisciplinary approach to Collaborative Practice, and as a co-founder of the International Academy of Collaborative Practice, her focus has been to bring interdisciplinary collaborative principles to professionals and families alike.   She has trained Collaborative professionals both nationally and internationally in the Collaborative Divorce team model.   Currently she is seeking to bring the same goals of creating healthier family relationships to the Trusts and Estates arena, where she will be presenting the second Interdisciplinary Collaborative Trusts and Estates Training in November of 2014.

Victoria Tran Sood, Tran Sood Law Firm
Victoria Tran Sood is a specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. Victoria has extensive mediation and litigation experience in representing clients with complex contested probate, trust, conservatorship, and guardianship matters in probate and appellate courts throughout California. She also serves as court appointed attorney for Santa Clara County and San Francisco County probate courts to represent and protect (proposed) conservatees in conservatorship matters.

Victoria is trained in collaborative practice with emphasis in trusts and estates. Victoria is a member of Collaborative Practice Silicon Valley.