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WHAT TO EXPECT
Connect With Us
Contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys.

We will send you a link to a client questionnaire that will ask about your family and financial information. Your help in completing the questionnaire as completely as possible is one of the ways we keep our fees down.
Initial Meeting
Talking about what will happen after you are gone is serious. Because estate planning is far too important to be conducted over the phone or via email, we like to meet with you in person. We promise to keep it as light-hearted as possible.

Initial meetings typically last about 1.5 hours. At the initial meeting, we will review the information you've provided us to make sure we understand your family and financial circumstances, and we will address any special concerns you have. We will formulate a plan for how to proceed and then provide you with a fixed fee quote for your basic estate planning documents.

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Basic estate planning documents include: If additional documents are recommended, they may be included in the fixed fee or we may bill hourly, depending on the circumstances. More advanced estate planning documents include:
The Fixed Fee Process
If, at the conclusion of the initial meeting you decide to engage us, we will provide you with an engagement letter to review and sign. We ask that you provide us with a credit card authorization at that time.

For basic estate planning documents, we will collect the fixed fee in three stages. 10% of the total fee will be charged to you after the initial meeting. 75% of the fee will be billed when we deliver draft documents to you, and the final balance of 15% of the total fee will be collected once we have delivered an electronic or printed file containing your executed documents.

What's Included In The Fee
The fixed fee includes a written summary of the documents and either a flowchart or a spreadsheet showing how your estate will be distributed. Our clients say these items are crucial to ensuring their understanding of the plan, and we know the right-brainers among you like pretty pictures. "Pretty" may be a stretch, but our flowcharts are at least colorful. For the left-brainers, we can prepare a spreadsheet showing how much each loved one will receive under your plan given your current assets and current tax rates.
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The fixed fee also includes one round of reasonable revisions to the draft documents. After you are satisfied with the draft documents, we will schedule a time for you to come to our office to sign in the presence of a notary and witnesses.

Once the documents are signed, you will receive an electronic file via your secure client portal that includes PDFs of the final documents, the written and pictorial summary, and instructions for the funding and administration of any trusts we create. Your documents will always be available on your portal, and we can store other important documents for you there as well. If you elect, we will also mail you a binder with hard copies of the documents.

If additional work is needed to fund trusts, transfer assets or change beneficiary designations, we will charge our normally hourly rates on a monthly basis.

We will give a percentage of your fees to one of three charitable organizations. At the end of our fiscal year, you will have an opportunity to select which charity we should support on your behalf. Read more about the organizations we're currently supporting.

Pre-Marital Agreements
The premarital agreement process is similar to the estate planning process. You will be asked to complete a client questionnaire and attend an in-person initial meeting. We will draft the agreement for a fixed fee (or review the agreement drafted by your fiancé’s attorney), but our negotiation of the agreement with the attorney representing your fiancé will be charged at our normal hourly rates.
Estate Administration
For estate administration, we will provide you with a list of items that are needed for us to administer the estate. If you prefer, we can visit the decedent's home with you to collect all of the needed information. Once we have determined the scope of the project, we will charge either a fixed percentage of the estate assets or our hourly rates, depending on the circumstances.
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We will file all of the necessary pleadings with the probate court in the relevant jurisdiction, prepare an inventory and accountings, as needed, hire appraisers, and prepare and file any required estate tax returns. We will work with your financial advisors and accountants to transfer estate assets to the intended beneficiaries as quickly and tax-efficiently as possible.

We recommend that a reserve be set aside to cover anticipated estate taxes and expenses. Once the federal and/or state governments have issued their "closing letters" certifying that no further tax is due, the reserve can be distributed and the estate closed.

Trust Administration
Whether you are serving as a trustee of a trust for a friend or relative or we have agreed to serve in that role for you, we can prepare annual accountings for the trust and deliver them to the beneficiaries or their representatives. The accountings help limit the trustee's exposure to fiduciary liability.

We will also meet with the trustees, investment advisors and accountants for the trust at least once a year to help ensure the trust is being administered in accordance with the trust instrument and as required by state law. These services are typically performed on an hourly basis and charged to the trust.