What to Expect

“Okay, so I need an estate plan.  What’s the process?”

For most clients who need a will or other estate planning, this is the process:

1.  You Contact Me

Contact me to make an appointment or to ask questions.  Even if you know me, I ethically can’t reach out to you and suggest you hire me. Once you get in touch with me, I’ll get the ball rolling.

2.  Fill Out the Estate Planning Questionnaire

I’ll send you a form that asks for the information I’ll need throughout the process.  It will help me determine what kind of planning you’ll probably need and will serve as a basis for our first meeting.  It’s helpful if you can fill it out before the first meeting so I can be more efficient with your time.

3.  First Meeting

At this meeting we’ll discuss your goals and questions about estate planning.  I’ll explain how wills, trusts, or other tools work and can fit your needs.  We’ll walk through the questionnaire and review your decisions for beneficiaries, guardians, or trustees (and discuss how to decide, if you haven’t yet), and talk about other options such as how and when you’d like your children to inherit, and any other issues regarding your assets or your family.

We’ll discuss fees at the first meeting.  A flat fee is charged as often as possible.  I understand you want to know up front how much it will cost.  If you would like a quote before the first meeting, give me a call or send me an e-mail.  Fees are pretty straightforward for most clients, but I’ll need some information to determine what kind of estate planning you’ll need.  In most cases, I can give you a quote from asking you some basic questions, and I will set the fee at the end of the first meeting. It is my policy to receive payment at the end of the first meeting.

4.  Drafting Documents

After our first meeting, I’ll draft your documents.  If you have a more complex estate we may meet again.  Call or email me if anything changes or if you have questions. I will send you drafts for you to review.

5. Second Meeting and Signing

I’ll walk you through your documents so you understand what they do.  Then we’ll bring in two witnesses and have you sign everything to make it official.

6. Safekeeping

I will keep PDF copies of your documents, then package up your originals and mail them to you with information about your plan for future reference.