We believe in a Three Step Strategy for creating estate plans that work. Our process is designed to ensure your confidence that your plan addresses your personal needs, each step of the way. Every decision is reviewed with you multiple times, yet the entire process takes only a few weeks.
The Vision Planning Session
The planning process begins with an initial meeting that we call the Vision Meeting. This is a one-hour educational meeting to discuss your goals and planning options available. It’s also an opportunity for us to meet, just your family and our firm, so we both can determine whether there is a good fit between us.
It is highly recommended that you attending one our workshops prior to your individual Vision Meeting. Our workshops are designed to answer all of the most common questions that we receive about estate planning, as well as those that you may not have even known to ask! This allows us to focus on your and your family during your individual session.
During the meeting, we’ll walk you through exactly what your loved ones would need to do, and what would happen to your assets, if something happened to you. If you don’t like the outcome of the status quo, then we will discuss planning options and alternative solutions until we find a plan that fits your needs.
Assuming there is a good fit between you and our firm, we’ll help you choose a planning level and fee that is right for you (we have multiple planning levels available to accommodate your needs, and the fees are all inclusive, so there are no surprises). We will then schedule your Design Meeting, the next stage of our process.
The Design Meeting
There are two goals of the Design Meeting:
- To gain an understanding of who you and your family are.
- To begin designing a plan tailored to the needs of you and your family.
We’ll begin by asking you questions about you and your loved ones, with the goal of gaining a deeper understanding of the dynamics of your family life. Our role is that of a listener. We are not here to judge, render opinion, or interrupt you. We may ask a few clarifying questions along the way, but otherwise, the floor is yours. Of course, everything discussed is confidential and privileged, so it’s a safe environment for open discussion.
When you are ready, we’ll begin designing your plan. The planning options are virtually infinite, but together we’ll use the information gathered in the first half of the meeting to design a plan that best fits your goals, objectives, and family dynamics. Along the way, I’ll use stories and examples to educate you about the relevant points of law and guide you through the design process.
For some clients, we will need to schedule a second Design Meeting to complete the design process. About three to four weeks after the completion of the Design phase, you’ll return to our office for your Signing Meeting.
The Signing Meeting
We’ll start the Signing Meeting by reviewing your plan with you to make sure it fits just right and addresses all of your goals and objectives. Once we are both satisfied that it is complete, we will guide you through signing all of the various documents.
We see signing your estate planning documents as just the beginning of our relationship with your family. Next, our Funding Director will begin to introduce you to the process of properly titling your assets and accounts, updating beneficiary designations, and other critical steps to ensure that your plan will work as intended. This is a critical part of the estate planning process that is often neglected. But if your assets are not titled properly, your plan will not work!
We will review your preliminary asset report with you and discuss our proposed funding and titling recommendations.
The Funding & Delivery Meeting
For your Funding Meeting, we'll have prepared all of the letters, forms, and instructions needed to carry out the funding and titling of your assets to ensure that your plan will work as expected. We're committed to plans that works, which means helping our clients navigate the process of retitling their assets and accounts, updating beneficiary designations, and other work that might be necessary to ensure the proper execution of your planning.
At the conclusion of this meeting, we’ll also deliver your final estate planning portfolios for you to take home.
What Happens After I Take My Estate Planning Portfolio Home?
After the initial planning phase is complete, the maintenance phase of your plan begins. We stay in regular communication with our clients via our newsletter at no additional charge. And, if you participate in our affordable Maintenance and Education program, you will have an opportunity to review your plan and the titling of your assets on an annual basis, to ensure your plan will continue to work. Plus, we will provide your family with a number of other valuable services.
Click to read more about the Three Step Strategy and our Maintenance and Education Program.
If you’re ready to get started, call Aimee, our Client Services Director, at (919) 443-3035!