What To Expect?

Every lifetime plan we develop — whether to leave your hard-earned property on to your family, or to protect against loss through from high nursing home costs — is customized to your individual goals, concerns and needs.

We know that coming to an attorney’s office may be stressful.  But our clients often tell us just how stress-free and empowering an experience it was to plan with us.  Here’s what to expect:

Initial Contact

When you first contact us, we’ll schedule a date and time for your first planning meeting.  If you have mobility issues, we can meet at your home.  We’ll send you three forms to complete, which will give us an understanding of your family and financial situation.

We charge $200.00 for this initial one-hour planning session.  But if you decide to move forward with your plan, we’ll deduct this fee from the total cost.  We require that, at least one week before your meeting, you return your completed forms and your fee payment to us.

Initial Meeting

At your initial planning meeting, we will review your unique family and financial situation with you, explain your various planning options, listen carefully to your concerns, and recommend a comprehensive lifetime plan to meet your needs.  Your plan will protect your property from being lost through nursing home costs, probate expenses, or taxes, and make sure it remains protected when you pass it on to your family.

After our meeting, we will mail you a written Proposal, detailing our recommendations for your estate plan, and quoting you a fixed fee for the recommended plan, so that you know in advance what your final costs will be.  This fee quote is good for 30 days.  If you want us to create your plan, you sign the Proposal and mail it back to us, along with a payment of one-half of the total fee (less your $200 consultation fee).  The remaining balance of the fee is due on the day that you come in to sign your plan.

Once we receive the signed Proposal, we’ll call you to set up a date and time for a Design Meeting, where we will discuss the details of your plan. We encourage clients who wish to invite their family members or financial advisors to this meeting.

Design Meeting

At your second visit, we will go through all of your options for creating an estate plan, and graphically illustrate for you how your customized plan will work.    You will leave the meeting with a clear understanding of what your estate plan will look like.  We will mail you a summary of your plan, which will explain the major components of your plan in plain English, and a summary of the names of the persons who you have chosen as the important actors in your estate plan — for example, your trustees, beneficiaries, health care agent, power of attorney.  You must review the information to make sure it accurately reflects your intentions, and must notify us.  Once we receive your confirmation, we will prepare the final plan documents and schedule a meeting to sign the them.

Funding Meeting

If you decide on a living trust-centered estate plan, and retain us to do your funding of the trusts, we schedule a meeting to discuss how to “fund” your trust — that is, how you go about transferring title to all of your assets from your individual name to the name of your new trust.

Review and Signing Meeting

After we prepare all of the final plan documents, we schedule a meeting to review your plan.  At your option, you can invite the persons who you have named to play a part in your plan, including trustees, healthcare agents, etc.  We go through the plan documents, explaining how each document works, and answering your questions.

Once you understand exactly how your estate plan works, we will invite in the required witnesses, and conduct the signing ceremony.

Within one to two weeks after this meeting, you are notified that your completed Estate Plan Portfolio binder, in which all of your plan documents are indexed and organized, is ready for you to pick up.

We hope this overview of the planning process reassures you that asset protection planning is not mysterious, intimidating, nor burdensome.