Regardless of your worries, we understand that people do procrastinate and tend to avoid unpleasant topics, so we make our process easy for you. First, you make an appointment and fill out a short personal information form.
What to bring: your spouse, if you have one, your checkbook, your worries, and your thinking cap. This meeting usually lasts 1 to 2 hours. Our consultation fee is $250, but we waive it for people who hire us. You sit down with us and teach us about you and your family and your concerns. In return, we help educate you about the things that you worry over. We try to answer the important questions, even if you don’t ask them. Once we know your goals and your worries, we can almost always set a flat fee to take care of your needs. We won’t solve your worries at this meeting, but we will make a plan to solve them. We make sure we are a good fit for each other and, if so, we move forward and finish the meeting by scheduling another meeting for 1 to 2 weeks later. If we are doing Medicaid planning, we will also schedule a phone call to gather more data from you.
What to bring: your spouse, your checkbook, and any questions you may have. This meeting usually lasts 1 to 2 hours. We will have wills, trusts, family protection strategy reports, or other legal documents ready to review with you. Together, we will have a work session to match the documents up with your wishes and your worries. During this meeting, we will edit documents to address your specific concerns. At the end of this work session, most clients are comfortable with signing the documents. They can still be changed later in most cases. If your legal documents include a trust, we now schedule a 3rd meeting for 1 to 2 weeks later. If we are reviewing a family protection strategy report for Medicaid planning, we will discuss which recommendations you can carry out without our help and which ones you need our help with.
What to bring: your spouse, your checkbook, and a copy of a recent statement for each financial account. This meeting usually lasts 1 to 2 hours. At the meeting, we focus on integrating your assets with your trust. Some people call this “funding the trust.” We will help you plan what accounts need to be put in the trust and what beneficiary designations need to be updated. It will be your responsibility to carry out the plan, but we are available for any questions you may have in doing so.
We have found the following things do not work well, so we avoid them. First, we don’t send out drafts of documents. We want to give you an initial tour of them and discuss your goals in person. Then you can take the documents home with you and study them as much as you want. Even once signed, documents can be changed as needed. Second, we review and update estate plans in person only and not by phone, mail or email; this is to avoid things such as your document being signed incorrectly, or failing to meet your specific needs, or leaving you with unanswered questions. Third, we welcome adult children or other important people at meetings, but please don’t bring young children because you won’t be able to focus. Fourth, it’s important that if you are married, both spouses come to all meetings. This is to avoid misunderstandings and a reeducation process that isn’t covered by our flat fees.