Every estate plan we create is based on at least three meetings – An Initial Consultation, a Design Meeting and a Delivery Meeting. Depending on your personal situation, we may have additional meetings and phone calls. When you call to set an appointment, we will send you a Welcome Packet that includes a confidential estate design worksheet. You will complete the appropriate sections and return the packet at least two days prior to your initial consultation to help us get prepared for the meeting. If it is not returned by then, we will need to reschedule your appointment in order to be as prepared as possible.
The Initial Consultation
At your initial meeting, we will spend an hour or so discussing your planning goals, your family, your finances and the most important relationships in your life. Only after learning about you and your goals are we in a position to help you decide which options and strategies will be best for you. We will analyze your existing plan and start designing the framework for your new plan. We also discuss the time and financial commitments necessary to create and implement your plan. With few exceptions, there is no charge for this meeting. All we ask is that you complete the Welcome Packet accurately, discuss your goals, hopes, fears and dreams openly and that at the end of the meeting we reach a yes or no decision on whether you want to go forward.
The Design Meeting
Once you decide to proceed with the design of your estate plan, we will give you some homework to complete and bring to the Design Meeting a couple of weeks later. This meeting is the most important part of your plan and will last approximately two hours. Half of our agreed upon fee is due at this meeting.
The ALRM Meeting / Phone Call
If a living trust is part of your estate plan, asset retitling is part of our commitment to the success of your plan. Accordingly, the next step is an Asset and Language Review Meeting or phone call a week or so after the Design Meeting to identify all of your assets and ensure the framework of your plan is as you want it. This meeting, which may also be a phone call, will last about 45 minutes. If a living trust is not part of your plan, any asset retitling will be your responsibility and we won’t need this meeting or call, although we will be as involved as you want us to be for an additional fee.
The Delivery Meeting
At this meeting, we will have an in-depth review of each document we prepare for you to make sure you understand what we’ve done, the purpose of each document and how they all work together. Any changes to your documents will be made at this meeting as we will generally not send you drafts of any documents. After our review, you will sign the documents and we will witness and notarize them as required. The balance of your planning fee is due at this meeting.
The Funding Meeting
At this meeting, you will meet with one of our paralegals to sign any required asset transfer or change of beneficiary documents, answer any additional questions, advise you of our educational seminar schedule and generally welcome you to our client family. You will receive all of your original documents in a custom, three ring binder and our team will review the binder with you to show you where all of your documents reside and how to use them. For your convenience, all of your signed documents will be made available to you on a flash drive as well.
- What is an Estate Plan?
- What Makes Estate Planning So Important That I Need to Hire an Estate Planning Attorney?
- What are the Main Components of a Successful Estate Plan?
- What is the Purpose of a Trust? What are the Clear Advantages?
- What is Probate? Does Everyone Have to Go Through Probate?
- What Happens to Our Debts When We Die?