We try to make the estate planning process at Legacy Law Center as simple as possible for our clients. Here are the steps involved…
1. Our clients contact us, usually by telephone. You will always speak to an attorney during your initial call, even if they have to call you back. The purpose of the first call is primarily to listen to the prospective clients and find out what they are looking to do, what they want to accomplish, what they want to avoid and any issues specific to their circumstances. At the end of the initial call, we set up a time for a free consultation.
2. Legacy Law Center meets with clients on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and will work with the client to meet at at time that works for them. We understand that a late time might be necessary due to work schedules and we can work around that. Prior to that first meeting, the client is asked to complete a questionnaire and return it prior to the meeting.
3. During the initial consultation, we cover information about the clients, their families, their health and generally their financial position. We ask a lot of questions about children and any issues they have, including poor habits or difficult relationships with other family members. We want a general overview of how well the family gets along and the personalities of each family member. This is crucial.
4. By the end of the initial consultation, usually about 45 minutes to an hour, we have received enough information from the client to recommend an estate plan. We cover what documents are needed, who will be in charge, the distribution plan for the client’s assets and any other issues specific to the client. We tell the clients how much everything will cost and estimate when we can have a draft and final signature to the plan.
5. Within a day or two, we send a confirmation letter to the client which serves as the contract between our firm and the clients. If necessary, we follow up with the client with any additional information we need to get a draft of the documents started and completed.
6. Within a couple of weeks, we forward a draft of the documents out to the clients with a summary. At this point, we instruct the client only to review names, addresses and phone numbers for errors and to do a light review of the documents.
7. Within a week or so, we contact the client to set up a phone conference to review all of the documents. During that conference we review each of the documents, make any changes requested by the client and answer any and all questions the clients may have. At the end of the review we set up a time to sign the finalized documents at our office.
8. Prior to the signing, the estate planning binder is put together and two final reviews are done to confirm no errors exist in the documents. At the signing, we provide the witnesses and the notary (usually me). The documents are signed and then we discuss when changes should be made to the documents, where to store them, who should get a copy of what and answer any final questions from the clients.
9. The clients usually do not leave with the documents, as we take time to scan and make copies of the document for the clients. After that is done, usually within a week, we contact the client to pick up the original signed plan in the binder, we email a PDF file of the entire signed plan and create a complete set of copies for the documents.