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Why plan?

Regardless of your net worth, an estate plan ensures that your hard earned assets go to the people you chose, when you chose and in the most efficient manner.  You love your family and we help protect them.

If you are a parent with young children, you are concerned about protecting your children if something happens to you –or worse yet to you and your spouse. You want the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have a plan in place in case something unexpected happens.

If you are in the “Sandwich Generation” you are worried not only about your growing– or almost independent– children, but also about your aging parents. You want to make sure that you have a plan in place to protect your children, and you also wish to verify that you have the tools to help your parents as they get older.

If your children are grown and independent –or soon will be, you are starting to think more about retirement and want to ensure that you have a plan to transfer your assets in the most cost effective and efficient manner. You also want to be certain that you are protected in case you become incapacitated.

If you are a retiree you are worried about whether all of your affairs are in order, your ducks in a row so to speak. That means a plan for your assets, your health, your incapacity, and your passing. You want the peace of mind you get when you have everything in place for whatever  may be down the road.

 Everyone needs an estate plan.  That may mean a simple will, a revocable trust based plan, or something much more complicated.  It also may simply mean making sure that all of your assets are titled in such a way that they will pass directly to your heirs even without a will.

With the cost of long-term care increasing at a record pace, many people are worried that they will lose most or all of their hard earned assets.  We can tell you about the pro’s and con’s of the various scenarios to protect your assets and explain the look-back period and spend-down options.

If you want to leave money or property to a loved one with a disability, but you don’t want to jeopardize eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid benefits, you need to set up a “special needs trust” in your will or revocable living trust. Leaving money outside such a trust could have disastrous results.

A Different Approach

Our approach to estate planning is different from other law firms in several ways.  When we sit down for the first time, we will have reviewed your completed  Estate Planning Questionnaire Personal Information so we will have a good idea about your family and financial situation, your assets, and what you consider most important to protect in your estate plan.  Together, we will clarify your concerns and goals and talk about who you want in the key roles in your estate plan.  At the end of the first meeting,  we will suggest an appropriate plan based on your goals and budget and we will give you an accurate estimate of what that will cost.

We use a three phase approach to estate planning:  Discover, Discussion and Delivery.  

In the Discovery phase, we ask information about your family situation; your financial situation; and your goals and concerns about estate planning.  You provide us this information via our secure estate planning questionnaire which you access by clicking here

Step two in our process is a discussion about various elements of an estate plan.  This discussion takes place during the initial estate planning (“IEP”).   We use an agenda to help keep this discussion on track and to make sure we cover all of the topics involved in a comprehensive estate plan.  Here is a link to the agenda we typically use, with some variation depending on your age and family situation.

We generally have your documents ready for your review within 2 or 3 weeks from when you sign the engagement letter. Once you have reviewed the documents and we have had a chance to discuss any questions and changes, we will revise the documents for your final review.  When you tell us everything looks good, we set a time for you to come in to execute (sign) the documents.

Will you put this off until tomorrow? None of us has a crystal ball. Healthy as you may be, safe as you think you are, bad things can happen.  My goal is not to provide you with an estate plan, it is to provide you with peace of mind.  The peace of mind that comes from knowing that if something unexpected happens, you have a plan in place to deal with it.   You’ve waited long enough.  Get started today. 

 

Click HERE to get started today

 

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