Do you dread estate planning? I’ll let you in on something . . . it’s not that bad. In fact, most of my clients say it’s pretty painless and that the sense of control they gain over their own futures is well worth it.
I think the real hesitation is the unknown . . . do I have to commit right away? How much will it cost? What am I supposed to know? Should I wait until I’m older? While I can’t speak for every Attorney out there, I can tell you how our firm answers these questions:
(1) Your first visit with the attorney is probably free. Ask in advance; we won’t think you’re being cheap. When we meet, consider whether you feel heard and understood. Do we speak in terms you can understand? There is no obligation to move forward if you don’t feel like the relationship is a good fit.
(2) You will know the cost up front. At or shortly after the first meeting, we will quote you a price or price range before you sign an attorney-client engagement agreement. With rare exception, our estate planning is flat-fee, which means you know up front how much it will cost. We don’t nickel and dime for emails and phone calls. Once you understand the cost, you can decide if you want to move forward.
(3) You aren’t expected to walk in with any estate planning knowledge. Most people don’t know the difference between a will and a trust. Why should they? It’s not covered in school. There are no stupid questions here. A good Attorney will introduce you to these options and explain the differences in terms you can understand. Estate planning is not a one-size-fits-all, so providing information to the Attorney will help determine what sort of planning you need.
(4) It’s not about your age or how much money you have. Estate planning largely isn’t about how old you are or how much money you have. It’s about proactively making decisions for yourself and your family. Nearly half the documents in an estate plan apply to you while you are living. Having powers of attorney (for both financial matters and healthcare) means you get to decide who makes decisions for you if you are unable or unavailable due to things like travel or surgery. Even “young” people should have these. All your estate planning documents can be amended over the years as needed.
We’d love to help! Go ahead and contact us to schedule an appointment. Really, it’s not so bad!