The Estate Planning Process

Step One – Preparation

After you contact our office and make an appointment for a free initial consultation, you should download and print our Preliminary Information form, which is designed to help you organize your family and financial information.  Bring this completed form to your first meeting with us.

Step Two – Initial Consultation

We meet with you and we learn about what makes you and your family unique.  You, in turn, learn about the law and the options that are available for establishing a comprehensive estate plan that achieves your goals and objectives.  This portion of the process typically lasts about 60-90 minutes and is absolutely free.  All subsequent fees and expenses are discussed at the end of the Initial Consultation.  If you do not wish to work with us, at this point in the process, you do not owe us anything (we only get paid if you decide to advance to Step Three).

Step Three – Design

Based upon the information we obtain in your initial consultation, we design your estate plan and draft the legal documents that are necessary to implement in your estate plan.  Wills, Trusts, and Powers of Attorney are just a few of the tools we may utilize on your behalf.  Other, more advanced legal tools make it easier to avoid probate, reduce estate taxes, protect assets from creditors, achieve charitable and philanthropic objectives, and maintain control of your assets during times of mental incompetence and after death.  We will incorporateinto your estate plan all of the strategies necessary to achieve the unique objectives of you and your family.

Step Four – Implementation

About two weeks after we design you estate plan, you will return to our office and sign your documents.  Your estate plan will be complete and you, your family and your assets will be better positioned to handle any “curve balls” life may throw at you.

Step Five – Funding Your Trust

If we draft a trust for you as part of your estate plan, it is critical that your assets be re-titled, so that they are owned by the trust (or, in the cases of insurance, retirement plans, and other, similar assets, that the trust is desiganted as a contingent beneficiary). We provide all of the documents necessary to transfer your assets to the trust.  Also, we will be glad to answer any questions regarding the proper titling of assets you may acquire after you have signed your trust.

Step Six – Organization and Review

When you have executed all of your new estate planning documents, we organize them in a single binder containing clearly-labeled index tabs, which allows you access them quickly because they are easily identifiable.  We encourage you to contact us, periodically, in order to review your estate plan so that we may ensure it remains current in light of any significant changes in the law and/or in your family and financial situation.