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Estate Planning Stages

Welcome to Your Estate Planning Journey: Navigating the Legal Landscape with Confidence

Deciding on where to begin with your estate planning can feel daunting, but understanding the journey ahead can provide clarity and confidence. At our firm, we break down the process into clear, manageable stages, ensuring you are well-informed and prepared every step of the way. Here's a roadmap of what to expect:

Stage 01: Review of Questionnaire/Drafting
 

We will review your intake questionnaire and begin drafting your documents based on your responses.

You should hear back from us in about 3-5 business days (Monday-Friday excluding holidays).

We will reach out to you if we need more information, if we need clarification on something you stated, if you asked us to reach out to you regarding questions you had, if it appears that you need additional documents like a Supplemental Benefits Trust or a Pet Trust, or if we see any other answers that we need to discuss with you.

Once we have discussed with you anything that needs to be discussed, we will complete the drafts of the documents.

Stage 02: Completion & Sharing of Drafts
 

We will notify you once your drafts are completed. Once you have paid your invoice we will share the drafts with you. 

We will share your drafts through a Box shared folder link, so that if we have multiple drafts of the documents based on changes you would like to make, we can simply update the documents in the folder rather than passing back and forth multiple versions of a document. Also, your signed documents will be uploaded to the Box folder, so that way you will always have access to them for as long as our firm is in business.

Once we share them, you should carefully review your drafts. If you have any questions about the drafts or if there are any changes or revisions you would like to make, please let us know. We will make the changes and upload the modified versions into the shared folder.

Once you are satisfied with the drafts, then we will schedule an appointment for you to come in and sign (or you can take them to a notary in your area if you are not local).

Stage 03: Closure
 

Congratulations! You have completed your estate plan! Our post-signing letter will provide you with valuable information about your documents and how to store it. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT THE ORIGINALS NOT BE LOST, DAMAGED, or ALTERED!

Your plan will be designed for you in your current life stage. Although these documents do not expire, it is best practice to update the Living Will and Power of Attorney frequently (approximately every 3 years) as these become "stale" and may not be accepted as they get older, because it becomes more likely that your wishes have changed and/or that the documents have been revoked.

Your will may not need to be changed as frequently, but you should update it when you have major life changes. For example: If you get married or divorced, if you have children, if your wealth significantly changes, once your children have all turned 18, if at least one of your beneficiaries or fiduciaries dies, and at your retirement or when you turn 60.

These are suggestions and we would be more than happy to discuss any changes or other concerns you may have at any time after you complete your estate plan.

Stage 04: Execution
 

Once you are satisfied with the drafts, then we will schedule an appointment for you to come in and sign assuming you would like to come into our office and not take them to a local notary.

The signing itself should only take about 20-30 minutes. This is a quick meeting because we are only signing the documents. You have by this time reviewed them, approved them, and asked any questions you would like to ask.

This is not a meeting to go over the content of the documents or to make any changes - this is a meeting to sign them. So if at this stage you still have questions, please let us know before coming in so that we can address everything ahead of time. You will sign one will, three Power of Attorney Documents, three Living Wills/Advance Directives (or sometimes a Medical POA depending on your preference), and one original of any other documents like a Supplemental Benefits Trust if your particular circumstance calls for it.

We will give you the original Will, two original Power of Attorney documents, two original Living Wills/Advance Directives (or Medical POAs in some cases), and any other original documents that apply to your situation (like a Supplemental Benefits Trust). We will keep one original Power of Attorney and one original Living Will at our office and keep copies of the rest of the documents.

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By breaking down the estate planning process into these stages, we strive to provide transparency and support, ensuring you are never in the dark about what comes next. Our goal is to navigate this journey together, with your interests at the forefront.

Your Trusted Legal Advisers

We are caring - and take a personal interest in your case. With many years of experience behind us, let us guide you through the ups and downs and twists and turns of life’s journey - now and whenever you need us. We are just a phone call or “click” away.

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