Q1. What is your hourly rate for estate planning?
A1. Rather than charging clients for each hour or portion of an hour of work, we charge a flat fee for an estate plan. This includes our planning meeting(s), your questions, my research and planning work and the services of our support staff. The flat fee includes only the services and documents you need and it varies depending on the complexity of the work we need to do.
Q2. What will your flat fee be?
A2. In our initial meeting, we can give you a fee range based upon the scope and complexity of the work we need to do. The fee will be finalized once we are able to review your informational documents and discern whether additional or specialized work is required.
Q3. How does estate planning with you differ from estate planning with other attorneys?
A3. Many attorneys have the legal and technical know-how to create a good estate plan. What we add to the high quality estate plans our clients need is a personal focus that goes beyond the nuts and bolts of estate planning. Together we will create and add the personal context for your estate plan. Generations within your family will be able to hear you talk about key events in your life, what’s important to you and memories you’d like to share with them. You’ll have a strong estate architecture with the documents you need plus an audio recording, and photo book or video that your heirs will cherish when you’re no longer here.
Q4. Why is it important to do an estate plan and review it every few years? Why shouldn’t I purchase legal templates and create my own plan?
A4. Personalized legal expertise make the difference between a plan that works and one that can create chaos. If you invest in doing it right with expert legal counsel now, you and your family will have a comprehensive plan that works when it needs to and transitions are smoother. A do-it-yourself plan may work sometimes, but you or your heirs could face pitfalls in the plan and large legal fees later.
Q5. My spouse and I had a will written 7 years ago when we began our family. Can’t we just update our will to include our third child?
A5. For parents of children under the age of 18, I recommend a review of your estate plans at least every 3 years. Changes in your circumstances or laws can have a profound effect. Do your current plans designate your preferred person/people as the guardian(s) for your children? Are they still able to do so? Will funds be available to raise and educate your children? Do you have a child with special needs ? How will that child be supported and cared for? Do you wish to place any restrictions on when older children can receive an inheritance? These are just a few of the areas that need re-evaluation every few years.
Q6. We have a family business and all of our business and family assets are divided up in our will. Why would we need any estate planning?
A6. Integrating personal and business estate planning provides the advantage of addressing the “what if” questions more thoroughly. If two of your heirs are running the business and two other heirs want to sell it off immediately, how does your will address this? If your spouse is disabled and depends on an income from the business, what happens to that income when it’s sold? There are many details that need to be thoroughly explored and addressed when you own a business. A comprehensive estate plan offers protection and support for those you care about.