We understand that beginning your estate plan is a significant step, and we have designed a process that ensures your confidence and convenience every step of the way. Our estate planning process consists of three phases: Discovery, Design, and Delivery.
During the Discovery phase, we gather crucial information about your family situation, financial status, and estate planning goals and concerns. To provide us with this information securely, we have created an estate planning questionnaire accessible through the following link: Click Here
By completing the questionnaire before our Discovery Meeting, we can make that meeting as productive as possible. The Discovery Meeting typically lasts about 45 minutes to an hour, during which we will discuss various topics related to your situation. Some of these topics may not be applicable to your specific circumstances, so we will focus on the relevant ones. These topics include:
- Probate vs. Non-Probate Assets
- Probate Avoidance
- Estate Distribution Preferences:
- Beneficiary protection
- Remarriage concerns
- Incapacity Planning:
- Power of Attorney for financial matters
- Health care proxy for medical decisions
- Living will
- Nursing Home Issues
- Miscellaneous Questions:
- Disposition instructions (burial or cremation)
- Excluded heirs
- Specific bequests or charitable bequests
- Special needs beneficiaries
- Contingent beneficiary (Titanic provision)
The fee for the Discovery Meeting is $375, which can be applied to your overall fee if you choose to work with us. Even if you decide not to proceed, you will still gain valuable information and education during the Discovery Meeting.
During the Discovery Meeting, based on the information you provided, we will review your financial and personal situation and develop a basic outline of a plan that addresses your specific needs and concerns. At the end of the meeting or shortly thereafter, I will provide you with a firm estimate of the plan’s cost. If you decide to move forward to the Design phase, I will request you to sign an engagement letter and pay a retainer equivalent to 50% of the plan’s cost. The remaining balance will be due upon document delivery.
After signing the engagement letter and paying the retainer, we will schedule another meeting to finalize the specific design of your plan. This will include determining details about fiduciaries (such as the executor of the Will, Trustee of any Trust, Agent under the Power of Attorney, etc.) and discussing the specifics of how you want your estate distributed. The Design Meeting typically lasts about 45 minutes and can be conducted via Zoom, phone, or in-person.
Once all the specifics have been determined, I will draft the documents and send them to you for review. Typically, the draft is sent within 2-3 weeks after the details have been finalized. After you have reviewed the documents and provided any necessary changes or corrections, we will schedule the Delivery Meeting. If desired, we can also arrange a Zoom meeting to go over the documents prior to signing.
During the final meeting, you will sign the documents. We will retain the documents for a few days to scan and copy them, after which we will mail you the original copies along with a hard copy. If you would like an electronic copy, we can send the documents via encrypted email. Additionally, we will provide you with a Letter of Last Instructions that you can complete, as well as detailed instructions on what to do with the documents.
For trust plans, we will provide you with instructions on transferring assets to your trust and will assist you in filling out change of ownership or change of beneficiary forms after you obtain them from the respective financial institutions.