Our process is designed to minimize confusion. There are three meetings.
The Initial Meeting
The initial meeting has two potential parts. The first part is a review of your current plan (or the State of Georgia's plan for you) to determine if there is anything that you wouldn’t like. If you have minor children, we will talk about what would happen to your minor children if you didn’t come home. We will talk about the probate process and use your financial numbers to personalize what would happen for you and your family. We will also use your financial numbers to show what would happen regarding estate taxes. Assuming there is a good fit between you and the firm, an estate planning level that is right for your family is agreed on. The flat fees are all inclusive so there are no surprises.
The second part of the initial meeting is to design a plan that is right for you and your family. The plan will meet your goals and incorporate your values. If you have minor children, the plan includes the Child Protection Plan. The Child Protection Plan safeguards your children if something happens to you, either serious injury or death.
The Signing Meeting
At the signing meeting, you will sign your documents. You receive a brief review of the purpose of the document before signing. At this meeting, you will choose a topic for the Priceless Conversation. The Priceless Conversation is a way to preserve your intangible legacy for your children and future generations. (See Services for more information)
If you have chosen to use the trust plan, a Visio diagram is used to visually describe how the trust will work during your lifetime to support the management of your assets and how your assets will transfer at your death. Funding your trust by transferring ownership of your assets from yourself to the trust is also discussed. You will receive a spreadsheet of your assets to show how they are currently owned. The spreadsheet assists you and the firm in tracking the transfer of asset ownership to the trust. You will receive a Funding Toolkit with instructions on asset transfers. We also provide unlimited assistance if you are funding the trust yourself. A deed transferring ownership immediately to your trust is also signed at this meeting. The firm handles recording your deed.
The Third Meeting
This isn’t called the final meeting because this is the beginning of a lifetime relationship. At this meeting you receive your original documents. You also receive all your signed documents recorded on a CD. Copies of your health care documents are provided. With your permission, the firm mails a copy of your General Power of Attorney and Healthcare Power of Attorney to the people you have listed as your agent along with a letter describing their responsibilities and duties. The firm also mails a copy of your Medical Information Disclosure Release to the people you have named in the document.
At this meeting, your asset spreadsheet is updated and any questions about the transfer of assets are answered.
Last but not least, your Priceless Conversation is recorded as the beginning of your legacy library.
In most law firms, the relationship ends when you receive your original documents. This is where we are very different. We stay in touch to ensure that your estate plan will continue to fit and work for you as time goes by and your family situation changes. We also stay in touch in case the law changes. We do this by contacting you at a minimum of every three years. At that time, we will make an appointment for you to come in to receive a complimentary review of your estate plan. Not only does the review keep your plan up to date, it also brings the firm up to date so if something happens to you, valuable time is not lost when the firm helps your family decide what happens next. You will have peace of mind knowing that we will be here to assist the people you love most.
If a relationship is what you are looking for, call to schedule an appointment now.
SOURCE FOR POST: Linda Sherfey