After you contact us to schedule your initial consultation, Gretchen will send some initial paperwork for you to complete and return to us about a week before we meet. This paperwork is easy to complete and includes a confidential client questionnaire to help you gather information about the three essential areas we’ll be discussing during our time together. In fact, each of those areas conveniently begins with the letter “p”. So what are these Three P’s? People, Property and Plans! I’ll need you to educate me about the important people in your life, your property and your plans for those people and property should something happen to you. Before we meet I carefully study this paperwork, so I’m better prepared to help you.
When you arrive at our office/home, Gretchen and I will welcome you at our front door and offer you coffee, tea, a soft drink or good old filtered water. After you and I are comfortably settled into our conference room, I’ll explain that the experience is intended to be educational and that all questions are welcome at any time during our conversation. Why? Because you and I are on a journey together to find estate planning peace of mind for you and your loved ones. You and I are partners in that quest and I know how to help you get there safely. In fact, since 1985 I have helped more than 2,300 clients find Estate Planning Peace of Mind. But I need your help. That’s why we ask you to complete and return our paperwork in advance. We want to measure twice and cut once so we don’t miss any of the essential details that are important to you.
I’ll be able to diagnose your situation after you’ve fully educated me about your important people, your property and your plans. If I think we can be of help, then I’ll provide a range of appropriate “treatment” options and fees for your consideration. If you want to move forward, then we’ll sign a standard engagement agreement and schedule the time and date to sign your custom estate plan … usually within a few weeks. We then receive half of the agreed fee to begin preparing the estate plan and the balance when the plan is signed. On the other hand, if you want to think about it, then take all the time you need. There’s never any pressure from us to become a member of our “client” family.
For starters, we believe our clients are grownups and will let us know if changes are needed … if we just stay in touch. So, how do we stay in touch? Well, we have been sending a monthly estate planning newsletter to our clients since 1995. Then, every two years in October of odd-numbered years, we send out a review reminder letter to each of our clients by first class mail. That letter has a response portion for clients to complete and return to us in the conveniently enclosed return envelope. The purpose of all this regularly client communication is to keep in touch. That way if a change occurs regarding your important people or property, then you’re more likely to contact me so we can tweak your estate plan as needed. As you can see, we’ll go to great lengths to stay in touch with you after you become a member of our “client” family.
First, the review fee is $350, whether we prepared the estate plan or you are bringing a plan prepared elsewhere. As with the initial consultation, there’s some paperwork to complete and return before we meet. Also, I’ll need a copy of your current estate plan and any amendments if I don’t have them already. If any changes need to be made to your estate plan, then those changes will be billed separately at a flat rate quoted in advance.
The “secret sauce” behind a successful estate plan is how well you organize and communicate the information your loved ones will need to know when they need to know it. [Hint: You will not be around when their need to know becomes relevant.] Download these three essential organizing tools:
Complete and share them with your loved ones without delay, or at least make sure they know where to find them when needed.