ROCK W. ALLEN
Direct: (801) 438-7120
Vcard: Click Here
Rock Allen practices in the areas of trust and estate planning (individual, family harmony, tax and asset protection) and business planning (creation, operation and succession). He has assisted thousands of individuals and families design, maintain and settle trusts (revocable and irrevocable), powers of attorney (financial and health care) and wills with a plain English approach so they have the peace of mind that only comes from knowing they have proper legal planning in place that speaks for them when they can’t speak for themselves. Rock assures that his Loving® Trusts efficiently minimize cost, time and hassle in creation, settlement and administration and effectively deal with the challenges of mental disability, the “Left Hand of Litigation”, the “Right Hand of Taxation” and kids blowing their inheritance. He co-developed the LifeSpan™ Three Step Strategy for “Trusts that Work” including the essential elements of assisting clients to fund their trusts (transfer property into their trusts), train their trustees (so they know what to do when called upon) and formally update their trusts (because the one constant in life is change). He has essentially created a client cooperative format to access trust update services to address changes to: the Family – People and Property; the Law – Tax and Non-Tax and to incorporate the Very Best New Ideas. He coordinates the personal planning with business advice and counsel and together with his handpicked law partners and colleagues can assist with most areas of business faced by our clients in this area. Rock is a member of the Trust and Estate Planning and Elder Law Sections of the Utah State Bar. He has served as the president of the Weber/Davis Estate Planning Council as well as on the board of various charitable giving foundations and groups. He is actively licensed to practice law before state and federal courts in Utah and inactively licensed in California and Colorado. Rock is a highly sought after presenter to local, regional and national legal and financial organizations. Married to high school sweetheart Tracy with five children and one grandson so far.
B.A. (Economics) University of Colorado, 1986
United States District Court, District of Utah
Member: Trust and Estate Planning and Elder Law Sections of the Utah State Bar
Board Member, Weber School Board Foundation (2009-2014)
President, Weber/Davis Estate Planning Council (2004-2005)
Board Member, Weber/Davis Estate Planning Council (2002-2006)
Executive Vice President: The National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys (1994-2002)
Contributing Author: Ways & Means, Maximize the Value of Your Retirement Savings (1999)
Plenary and Breakout Speaker at National Network Collegium Events (1994-2002)
Rock’s plain-English, matter-of-fact approach to basic estate planning helps his clients comfortably and quickly get wills, trusts and powers of attorney that truly “speak for them” and include state-of-the-art legal advice and counsel. His Loving® Trust process assures efficient wealth transfer (minimizing administrative costs and delay) and effective wealth reception (maximizing protections from creditors and predators). Over two decades of working with clients he has developed design templates and techniques that truly capture what the client wishes to convey. The client always gets just what they want but after legal counsel and advice critical to understanding their options. When appropriate, after setting up their basic estate plan, Rock helps clients construct additional, more advanced asset protection and tax-advantaged strategies. The basic process can be completed in as little as a couple of weeks.
Tax Planning (Disarming the “Right Hand of Taxation”)
Planning without addressing the five fingers of the “Right Hand of Taxation” 1) income; 2) Sales; 3) Property; 4) Capital Gains; and 5) Estate Tax is not smart. The current estate tax exemption is over $5,000,000 per person and that’s over $10,000,000 for both parents. 99% of Americans don’t have to worry about their kids paying estate tax on their inheritance. But, since the tax is 40% on any amount over the exemption, Rock helps his more affluent clients minimize or eliminate estate taxes with all the trusted advanced tax planning tools that exist, including insurance, gifting strategies, irrevocable trusts, business structures and transactions, and charitable organizations that help clients do well while doing good.
For those under the estate exemption Rock’s planning has a uniquely effective way of helping clients eliminate capital gains tax for loved ones left behind. Allowing them to sell property, simplify and enjoy their lives without paying any capital gains tax when they sell. The approach takes an ongoing coordinated effort with the attorney, the client and the client’s family and it’s a bit counterintuitive so it requires some re-training of what clients thought they knew.
Asset Protection Planning (Disarming the “Left Hand of Litigation”)
Rock has helped many of his more affluent, professional and business clients who recognize we life in a litigious society to protect their assets from lawsuit creditors. The new Utah Domestic Asset Protection Trust is a fine tool to protect debt free assets from attack. Properly tiered business structures can limit liability for claims from within a business venture and attacks from without.
For Rock’s clients who can’t imagine they’d ever be sued he uncovers blind spots of liability by planning for the challenges from the five fingers of the “Left Hand of Litigation” 1) Lawsuit; 2) Divorce; 3) Spousal Illness/Care; 4) Client Illness/Care; and 5) Bankruptcy. Effective protection from these devastating claims can be incorporated into even the most basic Loving® Trust plans effectively protecting loved ones from unfair things life sometimes throws at you.
Elder Law (Veteran’s Aid – Medicaid)
For more modest estates, it’s important to deal with how to pay for long-term care in the event of mental or physical debilitation. Rock can help with pre-need proactive planning involving the transfer of disqualifying property to loved ones or trusts to qualify clients for government assistance and minimize government estate recovery after the person passes away. Rock is often able to preserve many assets for the family even in a crises situation where no pre-planning was done and the loved one needs to go into the care center now.
Trust Update and Maintenance (Because things change)
Rock recognizes the one constant is life is change. Clients often focus on the change in their family circumstances (or lack thereof) sometimes forgetting that laws change. Now and then it’s important to update an estate plan to incorporate changes to both family and law and to include better ideas for planning that come along. The key is that the update program be formal, only as necessary and as inexpensive possible. Rock played in integral part in development of a national trust update coalition and has evolved his practice to incorporate direct feedback from update program participants and his Client Advisory Board (CAB).
Key elements include:
- Trust Document Updates
- Funding Review
- Trustee Training
Trust Settlement (Yes there are things to do)
Depending on the type of planning in place there will be more or less work to do upon the disability or death of a loved one but there are things to consider and review in either of those challenging times. Getting help does not have to be super expensive nor doesn’t mean giving up control of the process. Getting help immediately after a disability or death can avoid a lot of back track and clean up work that a little early direction could avoid. If ongoing asset protection is part of the plan, it’s absolutely critical to have Rock make sure things are done to achieve that. If capital gains tax or other tax planning was part of the plan, certain things have to be done after death.
Should filing a 706 death tax return be necessary for the more affluent, our tax attorneys have filed many without audit or problem. Rock can coordinate with your CPA to divide the labor and do the best job for you at the most efficient price.
Business Planning (Linking Business and Personal Planning)
Many of Rock’s clients built their fortunes with their own businesses. He was there to help them pick the right entity (partnership, LLC or corporation), keep it legally compliant and transfer it to successors. Innovative business planning early starts things off on the right foot. Creative succession planning and implementing transactions make a big difference for clients and their families (especially when it’s one of the family who’ll carry on the business).
Personal Note (Family Experience)
Rock lost his mother in 2008 and his father in 2010 and he efficiently navigated his dad and his siblings through full implementation of their Loving® Trust plans. With his little sister as Trustee and health care agent, he effectively wiped out significant capital gains tax and protected his dad from the costs of almost a two year stay in a care center, attempted remarriage, mental lapses and anguish from family conflict.