What is "Modern Estate Planning"?
At its core, estate planning is the art of effectively managing family relationships.
So, how do we achieve this?
We form a genuine connection and learn about the nuanced dynamics of your family.
We take the time to deeply understand your goals and concerns.
This comprehensive perspective empowers us to tailor an estate plan that grants you complete peace of mind.
Our first meeting is typically a 30-minute confidential initial consultation. This may be at our office, via Zoom, or over the phone, as you prefer.
In advance of our meeting, we will send you a brief intake form, so we understand your goals, family dynamics, and asset picture.
There is no commitment to hire us. This is simply brainstorming with a knowledgeable resource.
During the consultation, we will help you design a plan that fits your needs, and we will introduce you to the terminology of estate planning. You are encouraged to ask questions.
To wrap up the meeting, we will explain our engagement process and the cost of our preparation of the documents. We try to determine a flat rate whenever possible.*
*A flat rate is not always reasonable or ethical. In those circumstances, we explain to our clients our hourly fees and estimates.
Step 1 - The Consultation
Step 2 - The Engagement
If you decide to engage us, you will sign the engagement letter (which can be completed via e-sign). If we have agreed upon a flat rate, you will typically be asked to pay 50% up front. If we have determined that your matter is hourly, you will be asked to provide a retainer that is approximately 50% of the anticipated cost of the work. Any fees can be paid via credit card at no additional cost to you.
Step 3 - The Intake Form
You will be asked to complete a fiduciary intake form, which is where you make the decisions about who will serve in the important roles of your agents, as well as distributions and certain health care matters.
We ask that you spend no more than 20-30 minutes on this form, and that you return it within 2 weeks.
If you have blanks or questions, that is our job! When we receive the (mostly!) completed form, we can schedule a quick follow up meeting if needed. Sometimes, we suggest that we prepare drafts with placeholders or with options for language.
Step 4 - The Drafting
Once you hire us, we begin the real work—the drafting! We typically prepare drafts in 2-3 weeks, and will also include a written summary going over the most important points of the documents.
We send you the drafts to review via a secure web link, and request that you schedule a draft review meeting within 2 weeks of receiving the drafts.
We complete the draft review meeting (which, as always, can be in person or virtual). We will go over all of your questions, comments, and final decisions. It is our goal to make sure you feel 100% confident about your documents.
We will then ask you to schedule a signing at our office about a week after the document review.
Step 5 - The Draft Review
Step 6 - The Signing
Your attorney will ALWAYS attend your signing (whether virtually or in person). You can expect to come to the signing at our office and find all your documents printed, a notary and two witnesses, and fresh blue pens. All you need to bring is your driver's license!
Your attorney will lead you through the documents and ensure they are all properly executed.
After the documents are signed, a member of our team will scan them so that you can have a virtual copy to share with family and loved ones as you wish.
In the meantime, you and your attorney will have a closing meeting to discuss any final questions, to go over any needed next steps (such as trust funding), and to discuss some practical practices to put in place regarding your asset information to make it more understandable for your agents.
Step 7 - The Wrap-up
Step 8 - Future Updates
We love to hear from our clients, and we are proud that many of them return to us as their lives change. We always offer complimentary 10-15 minute check-in calls, so you know you can tell us what may have changed, and we can guide you through what it may mean for your estate documents.