People require estate plan for different reasons. Common goals of estate planning include: making sure the greatest amount of property or money passes to the estate owner's intended beneficiaries, paying the least amount of taxes, and avoiding or minimizing probate involvement and cost. Additional goals typically include providing for and designating guardians for minor children and planning for possible future incapacity.
To do our best job in creating your estate plan, we need to know more about you, your family, and your financial condition. For this reason, we have developed a confidential estate planning questionnaire that we send our new estate planning clients.
This questionnaire is designed to help you assemble information that assists us and makes our meeting productive. All information provided is protected by the attorney-client privilege whether you proceed with an estate plan or not.
When most clients first come into our law office with their estate planning questionnaire in hand, they have the opportunity to meet with an attorney face-to-face. If at the end of the initial meeting an estate plan is authorized, then a second meeting is scheduled.
At the second meeting, your attorney reviews your estate plan paragraph by paragraph. This process is required so that you may have explained to you in layman's terms what your estate plan actually says. Our goal in doing this procedure is to give you the opportunity to understand what you are signing to the fullest extent possible.
Depending on the estate plan, this second meeting can last for 2 to 3 hours. If the estate plan also includes a funding component, documents needed to assist in the funding are for the most part available to sign at this second meeting. At the end of the process, you are left with a fully integrated estate plan.