Whether you have met with an estate planning lawyer before or it is your first time, it is important to understand how working with us is different from meeting with a traditional lawyer.
Here we will explain our process:
Meeting With a Traditional Lawyer
An initial consultation with our firm is quite different from an initial consultation with a typical estate planning attorney. A typical “initial consultation” would be a meet-and-greet-type of meeting, in which the lawyer describes the various legal documents you need to put in place and quotes you a fee to provide those documents.
In those types of meetings, it will likely be quite difficult for you to know exactly what you need for your unique family situation, and how to make the right decision (apart from budget considerations). Deciding what you need based solely on the cost of documents will likely lead to you receiving a set of documents that may not serve and protect your family or your assets when they need the most support.
We have seen it all too often: You have the best of intentions to do the right thing and get a will or trust in place, but you either put off doing it, or work with a lawyer who puts in place a documents-only plan that is little more than what you could do yourself online through an online document service. You then become incapacitated or pass away, and your family is left with a mess. They have no clue how to access your assets, they do not know who to turn to, your documents are out-of-date, and your loved ones are lost, confused, and grieving all at once.
We have designed our entire process, which we call Life & Legacy Planning, to support an entirely different reality—one in which you use the estate planning process to leave behind a plan for the people you love, while making your life even better right now. Let me explain how we do that.
Family Wealth Planning Session™
As your Life & Legacy Attorney, our entire process is designed to support you to make the right decisions for yourself and the people you love during your life and to leave a legacy of support and love to the people you care about most.
Our initial meeting with you is a ninety-minute working session, called a Family Wealth Planning Session. During this session, you will educate us on everything you own and your family dynamics, and we will educate you on how the law would apply to you, your assets, and your family in the event of your incapacity or death. Together, we will create a plan for how to structure your affairs, how you would like to have your family supported, and how to keep track of your assets, so your family never feels lost, confused, or alone during a time of grief. By the time you leave the Session, you will feel relieved, cared for, and have more clarity than ever about how to make life choices in alignment with the legacy you desire to leave.
This Planning Session is usually $750. However, we will waive this fee if you are willing to do a bit of homework ahead of time. This homework is a critical part of the planning process, and it will benefit your loved ones for years to come. The homework will guide you to find everything you own and document it, using our Family Wealth Inventory and Assessment.
Many of our clients do not have a clear awareness of what they own or how to locate their assets. If you do not know what you have and where it is located, how will your family know in those critical moments? This is exactly why there is more than $58 billion (yes, that’s billion with a “b”) of lost and unclaimed assets held by state and federal agencies in the U.S. This happens when a person becomes incapacitated or dies, and their family is unable to find or simply overlooks assets they have worked so hard to create since so many people fail to properly inventory their assets and keep that inventory regularly updated.
We know that you have not devoted years of your precious time and energy to build your family wealth only for your family to lose track of it when something happens to you. That is one reason why the Family Wealth Planning Session is so beneficial. Whether you decide to create a full estate plan or rework the one you have, after meeting with us, your family will know what you have and how to locate it should anything happen to you.
The Family Wealth Planning Session will guide you to choose the type of plan you want based on your budget, and what is most important to you with a clear understanding of the impact of your choices. We will guide you to choose the most affordable and effective planning solution for your life and the people you love, so you can get your affairs in order and keep them that way throughout your lifetime and through all of life’s changes
This investment of your time now will save your family countless hours of heartache and work down the road, while also keeping your loved ones out of conflict and out of court. A Family Wealth Planning Session will give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you never have to make another financial or legal decision without our guidance again. And if and when something happens to you, your loved ones will get the same type of trusted advisor, who will be there for them when you are no longer available.
Death is unavoidable. But you can make it far easier on the people you love by the choices you make now. Facing the reality of this fact allows you to make choices that will let you enjoy your current life even more. In fact, our clients often report a huge sense of relief after meeting with us, and they frequently say they wished they had created a life and legacy plan sooner.
Life & Legacy Planning
Estate planning is about far more than planning for your death and passing on your “estate” and assets to your loved ones—it is about planning for a life you love and a legacy worth leaving by the choices you make today—and this is why we call our services Life & Legacy Planning.
We are specially trained to educate, empower, and support you to make the right decisions for your life and for the people you love. Furthermore, because your plan will be designed to provide for your loved ones in the event of your death or incapacity, we are here to serve your entire family.
In the end, your Life & Legacy Plan goes far beyond simply creating documents and then never seeing us again. We will develop a relationship with you and your family that lasts for your lifetime and for the lifetime of your children and their children if that is your wish. And this all starts with our Family Wealth Planning Session. If you would like to learn more about this process or schedule your appointment, contact us today. Book here
This article is a service of Reflections Life Planning LLC, Personal Family Lawyer®. We do not just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That’s why we offer a Family Wealth Planning Session™, during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge.