Estate Planning Seems Hard, Costly, and
Can Estate Planning Be Any Easier?
Many recent polls have concluded that
fewer than half of all adult Americans (44%)
even have a will much less an estate plan that
coordinates wills and assets to achieve what
they really want.
And, many Americans responding to a recent
AOL online poll said that they were more
concerned about maintaining their weight
than in doing a will.
Yet, almost 75% of those
polled said that
they should have a will.
In other words, we all know
we should but most of us don’t
–or if we do, they are out of date.
So what’s the problem?
Why don’t people
get to signing and updating their wills
and estate plans especially when the failure
to do it right can be so costly?
And, if the process is too hard, is there
an easier way to get it done the right way?
Here are the answers to a few of the most
important questions that families need
to ask about the ease and effectiveness of
estate planning and about how and why to
get it done.
Why don’t American families get to estate
planning even though they know it needs to
be done and they want to protect their heirs?
Again, according to the polling data Americans
say that they are too stressed about their day
to day activities to get that will done, AND
the process seems too complicated.
According to the survey, most families
whether affluent or moderately well to to agree,
“It Has To Be Easy.”
Why not use the internet?
Isn’t it safe and easy?
Most Americans still don’t trust the internet
for something this personal and complex.
And, internet based programs are often
not much less expensive than a lawyer when you
add up all of the smaller charges.
Finally, such programs do a bad job of helping
people with sophisticated needs to coordinate
their documents, assets, and trusts in a cohesive
and easy to understand system.
Well, as lawyers who spend their lives helping
people to complete their wills and estate plans
including wills, trusts (when needed),
powers of attorney, medical powers, living wills
HIPPA authorizations, and all of the essential stuff
that makes life easy for our surviving heirs, reduces taxes,
protects them from law suites and divorce and many
other risks, we listen.
It’s now easier than ever to get a simple estate plan
or a complex trust based estate plan in force from
a lawyer who meets with you personally, customizes
your plan and helps you to structure and to coordinate
your assets to make the plan actually work.
The truth is, we haven’t really had to make too many
changes to achieve these goals for our clients.
For years, our clients have been raving about
our proprietary process. And, while it may take a few weeks
to get an appointment (because we are client friendly and
good at what we do), the whole process for most people –
from start to finish- only takes two appointments and a
a few minutes to fill out some paper work and to
answer some well thought out questions.
Do many affluent clients and families take longer?
Sometimes. But usually, they get the basic planning
in place within a few weeks and with a few appointments.
In fact, even clients who use advanced techniques
such as Irrevocable Trusts, GRATs, and Qualified
personal residence trusts to move assets out of their
estates for tax purposes often get these done in a short
amount of time.
And, the savings and protection can be substantial.
Do some families require more meetings or a
Sometimes families with closely held businesses or family
vacation homes will need or request an extra meeting and/or
one of our famous family meetings. When family
meetings are used they usually help to improve the result
and help the next generation to understand and to more
easily do what needs to be done when the time comes.
Family meetings can involve as much or as little
financial detail as you want to share but they are
great at eliminating family disputes and the delays,
costs, and problems that arise when no one knows
what to do.
How does your process ensure that we get an
estate plan or will customized to our family’s needs
and goals at a fair price?
Well, a “fair price” is in the eyes of the beholder.
But, we don’t want or expect you to take a chance that
what we think is fair seems too high to you.
So we offer prospective clients the ability to meet with us,
to hear all the options, and to get a flat fee in advance for all
of the specific planning that they have selected. There is
no fee for that consultation. We take all the risk.
How can we do that? The truth is that almost everyone
who has one of those appointments hires us.
We know, from listening to clients that this
removal of risk makes for a trusting and effective
relationship right from the start.
And, if you want to know more before you start
working with us, you are also free to review our
extensive library of informative
reports, videos and articles on our two sites:
Watch, listen, and read what we write and produce
on a variety of topics and judge for yourself and
read what clients and other lawyers say about us
on rating services such as AVVO.com.
Want to read what other lawyers say about Dave?
AVVO Peer Comments* See notes below.
You can also see that David Frees has been a
“Top Lawyer” in the Main Line Today’s rating
of Trust and Estate lawyers, and that he has been
a SuperLawyer for many years.
How much homework is required?
We have created, based on over 25 years
of client appointments and experience, a
document – sent to you before your appointment –
that will walk you through the most important things
that you need to think about. After your appointment,
we’ll review what needs to be done and what you want
to do or what you want the lawyer to do for you.
If you’re so experienced, then isn’t this
very expensive too?
In the Trust, Estate, and Wealth Preservation
Section of the firm, this is what we do every day.
We invest hundreds of thousands of dollars
in software, training, and hiring of talented
people that make up the team that helps you.
Paralegals, an effective system and a focused
practice allows us to offer services that are
often very reasonable or appropriately expensive
depending on how advanced and sophisticated your
estate planning needs may be.
But, you’re never surprised by a bill
because you get to select your specific planning
tools and you always know, before you commit
to any costs, exactly what the fees will be.
I hope that this helps you to move out
of the majority of Americans who have no
will or an old and defective estate plan and
into the elite group of families and individuals
that have estate planning that will accomplish your
For a copy of our copyrighted Enhanced
Estate Planning Questionnaire or
any of our consumer reports or Affluent
Family Series of Reports, call 610-933-8069
or email email@example.com.
For more reports and information call
David Frees at 610-933-8069.
*Please note, that at least one person mentions
the word “expert” when referring to David as a
trust and estate lawyer. However, while this
is not true in all states, Pennsylvania lawyers
may not refer to themselves as experts in any field.
David limits his practice to trusts and estates but
wants to inform you that their is no such thing
as a trust and estates “expert,” in Pennsylvania.