Wills and Estate Planning Sound Hard But The Process Can Be Easy –
Well Maybe Easy Isn’t Quite Accurate But It’s Easier Than You Think
And You Feel Better When It’s Done Than You Can Imagine
Many young couples with families, older couples who’s children are grown, and even seniors with grandchildren, avoid doing a will, trust, or estate planning because it just sounds hard and complicated. But the truth is, that the best time to do an estate plan, will, a trust, or a power of attorney or living will is now, before it’s an emergency.
After all, if we wait too long, and we have an accident or illness, the estate planning becomes harder, not easier. And, many of us have a spouse or loved one who is fearful that we haven’t finished that will or estate planning and that they will be left without a plan, without guidance, and without knowing what they should do.
So how do you make the estate planning process fast and simple?
First, become an educated consumer. For example, many people use the expression estate planning interchangeably with financial planning. And, while both are important, estate planning usually refers to the process of getting your finances in order, making sure that you know what assets you have, what they are worth, and what you want to happen to them when you die and then executing the documents, such as wills and trusts, that will carry out that plan. Financial planning is developing a plan to achieve your financial goals such as retirement, or putting children through school, or purchasing a vacation home. and, when doing a financial plan, it is often suggested by effective financial planners that you also do an estate plan, and vice versa. Why, because putting your financial life and your estate plan in order help you and your heirs to both feel better and to save time, money, and expenses. The two concepts are, often benefited by one another.
In addition, truly effective estate planning requires you to review your IRA, insurance, and and other retirement beneficiary designations to make sure that the work properly with your estate planning documents. So, if that does sound hard and complicated you’re not alone. But our clients consistently tell us that the process was faster and more enjoyable than they thought it would be. And, many clients discover that their spouse, children or loved ones are so happy that it is finally in place, that the weight of the world has been lifted.
So what is this secret process that we use that makes people actually happy about something that seems complicated and unpleasant? What is the Enhanced Estate Planning Process(TM) that we use?
In an way, it’s quite simple – like many effective things. First, we schedule an initial appointment so that you can tell us what you want, find out if you like our lawyers, staff, client relations manager, and the team of people who will help you. Before that, we also give you a simple tool to use to figure out what you want and some of the other things that we will need to do the best possible job of advising you.
Often, there are many ways to make you plans work, so we help you to narrow it down to the top one or two, tell you what they cost, and then help you to pick what is best for you and for your family. If this sounds expensive, think again. Sometimes, basic estate planning such as a will, power of attorney, a living will, HIPPA authorization and a medical power of attorney can be achieved for little more than the cost of doing them on a service like Legal Zoom (Legal Zoom is a trademark of a company formed by lawyers but “which doesn’t provide legal advice” – and even I am not sure what that means). And, while many plans can be much more expensive than a basic estate plan, you’ll know the price in advance, how much can be saved in taxes and other fees, and whether or not such plans are valuable to you and your family.
At the end of that first meeting, we will work with you to set a convenient time and office for you to review the estate planning documents with a lawyer or paralegal and for you to have a signing ceremony where the documents are finalized. For many clients, the process only takes a few weeks from the time you schedule your first appointment to the time you sign the plan.
Following your meeting, your draft estate planning documents are sent to you for your review. They are reviewed completly at the signing meeting, clause by clause before you sign.
Following your signing meeting, the final documents are sent to you in an attractive folder or binder along with instructions of follow up matters and where and how to store the documents.
You’ll also receive a report filled with important information about your estate plan, and other important documents. Our firm also sends out reminders, to clients who want them, about changes in the law that might mean that you need and update as well as other reminders over the years.
We know from clients that they like the books, the process, the way that we help with estate planning, and getting it done, quickly and easily.
Have more complicated affairs that require transferring family businesses, protecting family assets, nursing home issues or more?
The process is adapted to break these issues into sensible chucks so that you can get the most urgent and important things done first and then follow up with the less time sensitive matters. In any case, there is a team of lawyers, paralegals, client relations managers, and others to help and that simply makes the process easier and more pleasant.
For more information on these and related issues you can request our booklet – Enhanced Estate Planning or visit another of our content rich web sites www.PaEstatePlanners.com
David M Frees III focuses his practice in the areas of estate planning, wills trusts and probate. He has assembled a team of talented attorneys, paralegals, and support staff such as a client relations manager to help the estate planning or probate process to be as simple and cost effective for you and your family.
For a complimentary consultation with David Frees or one of his team, mention this article.