Estate Planning Process - The process of creating a comprehensive estate plan usually takes one or two week from the decision to call us to the signing conference, but could take longer. The total time needed depends on a number of factors, such as: how long it takes our office to get documents and information from the client and third parties such as banks, insurance companies, other family members, and so on.
Emergency Planning - We sometimes get calls from people whose loved one suffers a sudden illness or medical emergency. When this happens we can do emergency planning. Depending on how much time the situation allows, we can still gather some information and actually make plans, then create documents, and have an office signing conference. If things are happening fast, however, we may have only enough time to make a hospital or facility visit and get basic documents signed, witnessed, and notarized. Even though this is far from ideal, the result is far better than not having any will, not having any written guidance about medical treatments wanted or not wanted, and not having any family members with authority to pay for a necessity.
What should I bring with me to my first meeting?
In the best case, clients would bring all of the following documents with them to their initial conference. But we do not live in a perfect world. The most important thing is to make an appointment and attend it!
Depending on the circumstances, we may have given you one of our estate planning questionnaires to look over before your first meeting. If so, bring that with you - whether or not it's completed.
If you have specific questions about a letter or a document you have received, bring that with you.
How much will this cost?
What happens when I meet with you? What happens after that?
First Meeting - Usually takes one hour, but may go to an hour-and-a half. It depends on how much the client knows about the planning process and how complex their family's finances are.
Second Meeting – Usually takes about an hour; the actual time depends on how many questions client has; how organized client is; how well the client knows who her agents will be.
Signing Conference – At the signing conference, all the final documents are read and reviewed, and we make sure the client(s) understand their overall plan and how their documents put their plan into action. All the documents are signed, witness, and notarized (as necessary). In addition, we make assignments about funding for trusts and final beneficiary designations. Clients receive a checklist of items left to do. The signing conference takes 30 minutes to an hour.
When can I pick up my will / estate plan?
In almost all cases you will leave the signing conference with your final documents in hand.
What’s your appointment cancellation policy?
We look forward to seeing our clients, and we plan time for them. When we reserve time, we tell others that we are not available to them. We therefore ask that you do your best to attend all appointments. If you cannot come to an appointment we ask that you notify us at least 24 hours before the appointment start time, so that we can serve another client during that time.
Where can I learn more about…?
Resources for Clients and Potential Clients - We have posted checklists, guides, and other resources on this site. Go to the "More..." tab at the top of this page and scroll down to the word "Information" below. Click on the topic in which you're interested. [an intra-site destination / link is forthcoming]
If you have questions after viewing these resources, please call us at (734) 475-2100. We will be happy to help you.