process1While every client is unique, and no two estate plans are the same, experience has taught us that clients like to know what to expect during their initial meeting and what is involved in the estate planning process. Here is an introduction to our approach.

Client Orientation Meeting

We believe the best way to explain your planning options is through education. The Client Orientation Meeting is how we do that. The Client Orientation Meeting is a group meeting that includes a presentation called The Truth About Estate Planning. It is designed primarily to teach you about different types of estate plans and how each one addresses different estate planning challenges. At the meeting you will learn our philosophy, our estate planning process and how we charge. Most of our clients prefer this method of getting started and meeting us.

The class is offered the second Tuesday of every month at 2:00 pm. There is no charge for attendance, but reservations are required. Contact us today to sign up for our next meeting.

Initial Personal Consultation

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At the Initial Personal Consultation, we will answer your questions about our firm, our approach and our overall planning process. Then, it’s time for us to learn from you, the expert on your family. We will discuss your loved ones and both your short and long-term goals. We’ll talk about your values and aspirations, and whether there was a particular event or situation that prompted you to contact us. Our goal is to learn as much as possible about you and your family so that we can design the plan that’s right for you. We will then outline in general terms the tools and strategies we can use to create your plan and how much it will cost. If you decide to work with us, we will schedule the Counseling and Design Session.

The Counseling and Design Session

At the Counseling and Design Session, we will discuss our planning strategy in depth and counsel you on specifics of your estate plan. We will describe what your plan involves in plain English and answer all of your questions. During this meeting, we will discuss a lot of topics to ensure that your plan addresses all of your needs and wishes. If you feel it would be beneficial, your other planning partners, such as your Financial Advisor or CPA are welcome to attend this planning meeting as well. Depending on the complexity of your plan and your personal needs, additional meetings or conferences calls may be needed.

The Counseling and Review Session

Once we have designed your plan, we will schedule a meeting for us to review the plan with you and sign your estate planning documents. We will explain all of the documents and answer any questions that you have about them and your overall plan. We will also explain the funding of your plan and provide instructions about what that process involves.

The Funding Forum

It is important to note that even the most well-designed plan is ineffective if it is not properly executed, funded and administered. This is why we will assist you with funding your estate plan to ensure that your assets are properly aligned with the estate plan you put in place.

Continuing Maintenance and Education

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As part of the process developed by The National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys, we offer a system to revisit your goals and objectives, your assets and your choices for important roles in your estate plans. We help keep your plan up to date based on changes in your life, the law and our learning about best practices. Each year our firm holds an Annual Client Meeting to give general information about changes which may affect our clients and we schedule periodic review meetings with clients who choose to remain in our Annual Maintenance Program.

The process also includes continuing education for both clients, their beneficiaries and their estate planning “helpers”, so they, too, can know what to do, how to do it, and how to pay for it.