It’s always my goal that my law firm be totally different from any other firm you’ve dealt with before. Unfortunately, when dealing with most estate planning lawyers, clients can feel intimidated and confused. On the other hand, I always want my clients to feel as comfortable as possible throughout the entire process. In that spirit, I’d like to lay out the exact process we use in my office to make estate planning as comfortable, smooth, and painless as possible.
The first step is a free no-obligation consultation with me in the office. When you come to this meeting, be sure to bring your current estate planning documents (if you have any) and a list of your assets. For your list of assets, exact values and account numbers are not needed. Rough values are fine. Be sure to include all assets on the list, even things like life insurance and retirement accounts. At our initial consultation, I will review your assets as well as your current estate plan. More importantly, I’ll also spend time with you reviewing your personal goals for your estate planning.
After we review this information, we will spend the second half of the consultation reviewing my suggestions on how to accomplish your estate planning goals in the most tax-efficient way possible. I will also quote you a fixed fee for implementation of the entire estate plan, with no surprises. Check out our fees page to learn the range of fees we charge.
At that point, if either of us feels that we aren’t a perfect fit for each other as attorney and client, we part ways as friends, and you will not be charged any fees from me at all. On the other hand, if we are both comfortable with each other and we both decide to proceed with an estate plan, I would ask that you leave a check for 50% of the total quoted fee. This allows me to get started on your necessary documents. The remaining 50% of the fee is due when the estate plan is fully complete and signed by you.
After our initial consultation, which generally runs about an hour, you will go home and I will handle all of the heavy lifting from there. When your documents are ready to be reviewed, I will give you a call and send you drafts to review in the comfort of your home. After your review at home, you will have the opportunity to pick my brain about any aspect of the documents you like, and also to have me make any necessary changes. Once you are fully comfortable with your documents, we will schedule our final meeting, where you will sign the documents in front of witnesses and a notary that I provide.
That’s it. If you have any further questions about the process, please feel free to contact me.