How Do We Create an Estate Plan?
Developing an estate plan can be daunting. I am here to help you create a plan that works for you!Please note that my fees for estate plans are flat fees. They include all of the meetings and telephone calls needed to discuss the details of the estate plan, modifications to the estate plan in the draft stages, notarization, and witnessing. After the initial estate plan is completed and signed, amendments to the plan are subject to additional fees.
STEP 1: Contact me to set up an appointment. We will meet in person or, if it is logistically difficult to meet face to face, we can talk on the phone.
STEP 2: Take inventory of your investments, retirement savings, insurance policies, personal property, real estate, and business interests. Then ask yourself:
- Whom do you want to inherit your property?
- Whom do you want handling your financial affairs for you if you cannot do so?
- Whom do you want making medical decisions for you if you cannot do so?
STEP 3: We will meet to discuss your estate plan. Our first appointment will last about an hour. I will ask you about your goals for an estate plan, your family, and your financial situation. I will explain how wills, trusts, and durable powers of attorney work. I will also quote you a fee for various plans. All of this information will help us decide on a plan that's right for you.
STEP 4: I will take a couple of weeks to write the documents for your plan. I will send you drafts of these documents as PDF files for your approval. I will also send you a fee agreement letter that outlines the fees we discussed at our first meeting.
STEP 5: If you would like changes to these documents, I will revise them and send another draft. If you a ready to sign them, we will meet again so I can explain what they say and double-check the plan. Then we will sign and notarize the documents. Payment is due upon signing.
The plan doesn't stop there, however! You should check your estate planning documents annually to make sure they still meet your needs. Families, tax laws, and situations change -- your estate plan should reflect these changes as well.